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Supervisor Training: The Defence Against e-Joints and More!

According to an article published in the New York Times this week, the latest buzz in the battle to beat drug use detection might be the electronic joint, or “e-joint” for short. It looks like a jet black Marlboro and not only can it be mistaken for a cigarette (the tip glows red when you inhale it), it can be discreetly placed back in your pocket after each puff, and comes pre-loaded with 150 hits of cannabis oil.

That particular brand is Juju Joint. It is only sold in Washington state (where the number of e-joints sold is expected to grow to 500,000 this year), but there are plans to expand into other states. Here in Canada, e-joints are sold in stores and online, the most widely advertised brand being eCigJoint. Its makers claim the joint produces a high but does not contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

Though supervisors in safety sensitive workplaces need to be aware of these trends, the good news for employers is that there really is no fool proof means or method of hiding substance misuse or abuse. Even if an e-joint is concealed in a pocket, proper education and training will help your supervisors and managers identify when someone is potentially impaired while at work.

Supervisor training is paramount to being able to identify the signs and symptoms of impairment on the job along with other critical indicators thereby allowing supervisors to recognize when someone may have used or misused drugs and/or alcohol.  Although only mandatorily required for companies regulated by U.S. Department of Transportation drug testing rules, supervisor training is a highly recommended safe guard for all employers whether regulated or not who want to stay on top of the game and maximize the potential to identify risk-taking behaviour.

This training doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult to access and arrange. DriverCheck offers an online supervisor training package that allows your supervisors to learn at their own convenience, stopping and resuming a session when they need to. Developed by a leading Canadian policy expert, the course we offer is comprehensive but the concepts are explained succinctly, in a way that’s easy to follow. We also update our program to continually offer the most up-to-date information and industry updates, including links to additional resources, industry websites, and regulations.

If you have enrolled your workers in supervisor training before, you should consider re-educating them once every 2-3 years. Repeating training every few years allows supervisors to be brought up to date on any and all new information relating to workplace drug and alcohol rules, protocols, and procedures, and to be brought up to date on any new devices in the market designed to hide substance use, such as the e-joint referred to above. At DriverCheck, we offer self-managed learning – that way, if your supervisor doesn’t need the complete course, he or she can simply access a refresher course, or a specific situation-handling scenario. We encourage you to make your best judgement as to how frequently ongoing education should be applied.

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