Researchers surveyed more than 200 workers in the states cannabis industry, which has boomed since the drug was legalized for recreational purposes in 2012. The majority of workers said management valued their safety, but noted they were not trained in depth on a variety of safety and health topics. Other findings from the study: Workers said the physical work environment was not particularly hazardous, but they had concerns regarding ergonomic issues and air quality. Commonly reported health issues included back pain; knee pain; and discomfort in the hands, wrists and fingers. Some workers experienced health problems after coming in contact with pesticides. Symptoms included skin irritation, headaches, dizziness and eye irritation. 10 out of 214 workers (4.7 percent) had sustained injuries requiring medical attention in the past three months. Researchers recommended that employers in the cannabis industry develop, implement and repeatedly evaluate safety and health training programs for their workers. Training topics could include ergonomics; emergency preparedness; proper use of personal protective equipment; and industry-specific hazards involving growing, cultivating, trimming and selling cannabis. Legalized recreational cannabis is spreading to other states, and in over half the country, [medical] cannabis is legal, Kevin Walters, a doctoral student at CSU and study co-author, said in a press release. That could amount to thousands and thousands of workers.
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IOSH has chosen the Middle East as the launch-pad for this new strategy because of the regions growth and increasing drive to cut workplace accidents and work-related illness, said a statement from the organisation. It comes after a recent survey commissioned by the institution, which revealed that business leaders across the region are identifying worker protection against injury and ill health as vital to safeguarding their business' reputation and resilience and improving productivity. Meanwhile the number of members of IOSHs Qatar Branch has increased from 86 to nearly 500 in the five years since it was launched. These members work across a range of industries to keep the number of people injured at work or becoming ill to a minimum. Robert Murphy, chair of IOSHs Qatar Branch, said: It is clear there is a real determination in Qatar and the wider Middle East to prevent employees from being harmed. Businesses are recognising the benefits that good health and safety bring to them, including having more motivated workers. Major organisations in Qatar are also working hard not only to promote better health and safety at work but to improve standards of living away from the workplace as well. Our branch and IOSH as a whole is determined that we keep this trend going, he said. The IOSH-commissioned survey, conducted late last Paediatric First Aid Training year and questioning 250 decision-makers across the Middle East, revealed that 91 per cent believe investing in the health and safety of their workforce is essential to ensuring their business has a good reputation, 85 per cent felt that their employees' health and safety is a top priority at board level, and 88 per cent feel that all employees have a responsibility for health and safety. The strategy will be introduced by Dr Bill Gunnyeon, chair of IOSHs board of trustees, said a statement. Meanwhile IOSH Training and Skills, lead sponsor of the conference, will announce details of new additions to its portfolio of world-leading health and safety training products, including the first Arabic-language versions of their courses. There will also be speeches from Ali Sikandar, head of digital and social media at Qatar Foundation; Ajay Sharma, British Ambassador to Qatar; and Joseph E LaBaron, the retired US Ambassador to Qatar; Paul Williams from Qatar Rail; James Quinn from Multiplex Middle East; and Musallam Al Khaifi, from Electricity Holding Company.