• Beyond Traditional Testing: A Framework for Safety Sensitive Environments and Legalized Marijuana

    Dr. Farrell Cahill, will discuss the direct impact of marijuana usage among workers in safety sensitive or high-risk environments. By detailing the physiological effects of marijuana on human health and workplace performance Dr. Cahill will prove how the development of physical Bona Fide Occupational Requirement (BFOR) is critical to preventing workplace injury and mitigating employer risk.

    To date, there are few processes in place to deal with job site safety regarding marijuana. But with the legalization of marijuana around the corner employers operating in safety sensitive or high-risk industries are being put under increasing pressure to update drug and alcohol policies. To maintain a safe worksite the employer must recognize how marijuana can impair an individuals’ performance during critical tasks. Although THC can be easily detected in the blood, there is no reliable measure for impairment from marijuana use and the majority of recreational marijuana issues that face employers have not yet been litigated. Without proper preparation and revisions to applicable policies and procedures, level of vulnerability for both employers and employees will remain dangerously high.

     Biography

    Dr. Farrell Cahill, Horizon Occupational Health Solutions

    Dr. Farrell Cahill holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and a Master of Science in Kinesiology focusing on applied thermoregulatory and exercise physiology from the University of Manitoba. He also holds a PhD from the Faculty of Medicine at MUN where he studied the physiology, endocrinology and genetics of obesity diabetes in the general population.

    Dr. Cahill currently teaches in the Faculty of Human Kinetics & Recreation at MUN. Dr. Cahill is a recognized leader in Canada for obesity, exercise physiology, thermoregulatory physiology, diabetes, stretching on human performance, and endocrinology.

    Dr. Cahill’s academic research focuses on the physiology/endocrinology of occupational and non-occupational chronic diseases and the development of realistic and sustainable solutions for work environments. Dr. Cahill is also currently working with a number of multi-national organizations to develop academically supported and defendable Physical Employment Standards (PES) and Bona Fide Occupational Requirements (BFORs) to reduce obesity and obesity-related health conditions for workers in isolated/remote environments. Dr. Cahill is the first to develop a BFOR for the offshore oil and gas industry.

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