Each year, CannAmm hosts a WorkSafe Forum for our clients as an opportunity for us to gather and share our experiences from a wide variety of perspectives on being fit for duty, and drug and alcohol testing. We seek to bring in speakers whose combined experience cover as many fitness for duty topics as possible, and to allow for networking between stakeholders, lawyers, HR professionals, training specialists, and internal CannAmm staff.
The various topics our speakers touched on included training, technology in safety-sensitive work, and how training and technology work with and against one another in the training process. And given that it has been less than a year since cannabis was legalized in Canada, cannabis was thus also a popular discussion point. The evening went out with a bang with our keynote speaker, Professor Timothy Caulfield of the U of A, and Netflix’s A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.
To start off the day, our CEO, Peter Deines, introduced the 2018 statistics for drug and alcohol testing. And a common question on guests’ minds was “did cannabis positives go up?” While positive rates remained more or less unchanged from 2017 to 2018, we have seen a significant increase to THC positives since legalization in October. While not unexpected, this information is disappointing.
We were thrilled to have Rebecca Orr speak on behalf of Threads of Life, an organization dedicated to supporting families effected by workplace tragedy, illness and death. It is stories like Rebecca’s which remind us why we gather each year to discuss safety in the workplace.
We held our annual “Talk to Docs” session, where our Chief Medical Review Officers held a round-table discussion and answered your medical testing questions. The day’s panel which folled was full of great conversation from Rob White of Cementation, Shilo Nuveu of Valard Construction LP, and Trace Lane of Skyway Canada Limited. The panel sought to differentiate between being “fit for duty” in policy, versus what being fit for duty looks like on the worksite. This led to discussions on how frontline supervisors are handling different changes and obstacles such as drugs and alcohol in the workplace, cannabis legalization, and new policy training. We learned that while it can be great to have your policies written out and signed off on by supervisors, it is much more important to ensure any new training or policy is readily available, and easily digestible by your workers and supervisors.
New technology in training: Trevor Gartner, Yardstick Training, Bill Duncan, CannAmm
Arbitration and case law: Chris Lane, McLennan Ross LLP
Drug testing trends: Dr. Bruce Demers, CannAmm
Unique post-mortem look at occupational drug and alcohol testing: Dr. Craig Chatterton, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
We were thrilled to host Professor, author and T.V. show host, Timothy Caulfield, as our keynote speaker. In his presentation, “Pop Culture vs. Science: A Battle We must Win!”, Caulfield encouraged us to look beyond celebrity endorsements and celebrity health claims when it comes to wellness and beauty products, in order to find the science (if any) which exists behind that claim. Spoiler alert: there often exists no scientific evidence that supports a celebrity-endorsed health claim. More of Caulfield’s ideas on the battle between pop culture and science can be found in his array of published books and articles (Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything, The Vaccination Picture), or his Netflix TV Show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.
Once again, we had a blast at our annual WorkSafe Forum, and more importantly, learned a TON.
We would like to thank our speakers for sharing their expertise, our clients for taking time out of their days to learn with us, our CannAmm staff volunteers, and our event planners, Heather Harcott and Casey Cooper-Shapiro. You all made this another successful WorkSafe Forum;
‘Til next year!