Cannabis Legalization and Construction

VICA and BCCA support the maintenance of a safe and healthy workplace and the construction safety measures through our active involvement with COCA and WorkSafeBC.

We support the establishment of any additional programs to promote excellence in construction safety, including those that regulate substance abuse of any kind. We are actively involved in ensuring that rules and regulations around cannabis use are clear to employers and employees, and align with the Workers Compensation Act s.116 that says “every worker must ensure that the workers ability to work without risk to his or her health or safety, or to the health or safety of any other person is not impaired by alcohol, drugs or other causes.”

We advise employers to apply the same rules and policies to cannabis use as they have done for decades in regard to alcohol use: zero tolerance.

We also stress that firms have a duty to accommodate. “Duty to accommodate” is a legal requirement drawn from human rights legislation and Canadian case law which says an employer should reasonably accommodate an individual’s difference, which would include addiction, to the point where doing so does not cause undue hardship to the employer. In terms of enforcement, don’t focus on the substance as much as the ability to work safely.

WorkSafeBC has a Primer that details what requirements are for workers and for employees, as well as a landing page around workplace impairment specifically for the lead up to legalization.

With the legalization of marijuana effective October 17, 2018, we know it's an unsettling time for the construction industry in Canada. That's why we're dedicated to helping you educate, inform, and train your workforce to ensure your workers are "Fit For Duty" and your workplace is safe and healthy. Our new partnership with Cannabis Learning Series (CLS) enables us to do just that.