CO: Cannabis Industry Bad For The Eyes

25 Apr, 2019 Liz Carey

                               

Denver, CO (WorkersCompensation.com) – The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the country, according to CNBC. Cannabis manufacturers and distributors created 64,389 new jobs in 2018. Nationwide there are more than 211,000 cannabis workers, according to Leafly, a magazine devoted to the cannabis industry.

Despite being a relatively safe industry, the cannabis industry seems to have a lot of “foreign body in eye” incidents, according to a new report.

Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s largest workers’ compensation insurance provider released a report this week detailing injuries recorded in the fledgling cannabis industry.

According to the report, of the roughly 31,000 cannabis workers in Colorado, nearly 350 of them recorded an injury in 2018. Of those, the five most common injuries were strains, cuts, falls and slips, being struck by an object and striking an object.

The most common injuries were contusions, strains, lacerations, sprains, foreign bodies and burns. The most commonly injured body parts were fingers, hands, eyes, lower backs and knees.

Jim McMillen, Pinnacol’s director of safety, said there was a “concerning” number of “foreign body to eye” injuries for cannabis workers last year.

“Eye injuries are quite common in the cannabis industry, and are very easily preventable with a small investment in eye protection and a plan to enforce their use” he said in a press release. “Severe eye injuries can cause vision loss, blindness and other long-term issues.”

Pinnacol estimates that the average eye injury costs almost $2,000 in claims.

McMillen said that as the industry grows, it’s important that it continue to mature, even as tightly regulated as it already is.

“As the cannabis industry continues to mature in Colorado, we see companies increasingly adding safety managers and focusing on basic ergonomic, materials handling and fall protection risk mitigation,” he said.

Colorado’s cannabis industry started seven years ago, and is still blazing a trail for the rest of the country. Dispensaries, cultivation facilities, retail operations and other cannabis businesses while adding to the state’s economy are also among the safest with only 1.1 percent of its workers reporting injuries.


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    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

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