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Vlog Series: Client Impact Day with Jazz Aviation

July 6, 2018 [Ayr, ON] – Welcome to a new series we are calling “Client Impact”. Join us as we explore the ways DriverCheck impacts it’s industry partners, their staff, and their clients. This series is all about building a personal connection between our partners and the DC family, showing perspective and giving new meaning to our everyday roles, as well as showcasing companies that go the extra mile when it comes to health and safety.

Please enjoy & make sure you check out Jazz Aviation’s website to learn more about Jazz and their unbelievable company culture!

Jazz Aviation

 

 

 

 

July 6th, 2018 | administrator

Vlog Series: Meet the DC Family – Christine Quick, Occupational Health Department Manager

June 18, 2018 [Ayr, ON] – Meet Christine Quick. She is smart, kind and funny. Realistically, she should have been a comedian but instead, she decides to spend her days at DriverCheck as our Occupational Health Department Manager and we are so grateful! Keep watching to learn more about Christine, why she loves working at DC and her adorable pugs!

 

June 18th, 2018 | administrator

Medical Cannabis Ruling Sets a Precedence for Workplace Safety

June 11, 2018 [AYR, ON] – In the arbitration decision of Lower Churchill Transmission Construction Employers’ Association representing Valard Construction v. IBEW Local 1620 (Tizzard Grievance), in Newfoundland, Arbitrator John Roil considered whether an employer violated the duty to accommodate in deciding not to place a medicinal cannabis user in a safety-sensitive role.

The grievor, Tizzard, in this case, had osteoarthritis and Crohn’s disease and had been medically authorized to use cannabis from a medical clinic that authorizes cannabis. The referral to this clinic was made after other treatment methods had been attempted without success (including prescribed cannabinoid Nabilone). The Arbitrator was satisfied that all alternative treatment options had been trialed and exhausted and that “accommodation could not reasonably be found in this case by changing the Grievor’s medication”.

Tizzard was authorized 1.5g a day of less than 20% THC at first (which was later increased to 22% THC). He stated that he would consume this each evening and reported no signs of feelings of impairment in the morning.

In 2015, the grievor began working at the Project as a Utility Person.  When he was authorized to begin using medical cannabis in 2016, he advised his supervisor who took no issue with the use of cannabis in the evening.  The grievor ceased working there in 2016 due to a shortage of work.  He then became aware of a Labourer position with another employer, Valard, on the Project.  His acceptance was subject to a satisfactory drug and alcohol test.

Valard sought additional information from the Grievor’s physician about his authorization.  That labourer position was canceled but another position for an Assembler became available and Tizzard again applied, but did not get the job.

Through an investigation process, a letter was sent to his authorizing physician and he was asked to see a SAP to rule out substance use disorder presumably. Tizzard advised that they laughed at him and advised he did not have an addiction he had a ‘prescription’.  He did attempt to discontinue his cannabis use for 5 months.

Similar to what we often see from physicians authorizing cannabis, the physician advised not to drive or operate machinery for 4 hours after inhalation and 6 hours after ingestion. She also advised that the significant effect was gone in about 2 hours and that she did not feel that the “level of impairment remaining the next day would affect his job performance”

The Arbitrator concluded that the project is a safety-sensitive workplace.

The Arbitrator held it would constitute undue hardship to accommodate the Grievor.

This was based on the medical and pharmacological evidence, which he concluded the following:

  1. The regular use of medical cannabis can cause impairment of a worker in a workplace environment. The length of cognitive impairment of a worker and can sometimes exist for up to 24 hours after use.
  2. Individuals who consume in the evenings may sincerely believe they are not impaired in their subsequent daily functioning; but may, in fact, continue to suffer the effects of “residual impairment”.  The lack of awareness into one’s functional impairment itself may be an offshoot of cannabis use.
  3. A general practicing physician is not in a position to determine, based simply on an assessment of the patient and a basic understanding of his or her work, the daily safety issues in a hazardous workplace.  Specialized training is required to understand the interaction between cannabis use and work restrictions.
  4. There are currently no readily available testing resources to allow an employer to adequately and accurately measure impairment arising from cannabis use on a daily or other regular basis.

The Arbitrator held the grievor could not perform the workplace positions without potentially impacting the safety of the workplace. He also noted his assessment was based on these two roles only as there was no evidence called to suggest there were other positions of a non-safety sensitive nature that may have been appropriate.  On the issue of the safety risk, the arbitrator stated:

“The safety hazard that would be introduced into the workplace here by residual impairment arising from the Grievor’s daily evening use of cannabis product could not be ameliorated by remedial or monitoring processes.  Consequently, undue hardship, in terms of unacceptable increased safety risk, would result to the Employer if it put the Grievor to work.  As previously stated, if the Employer cannot measure impairment, it cannot manage risk.”

Medical cannabis is expected to continue to grow for many reasons. One of which is that many patients with medical cannabis authorizations who test positive on a roadside test are exempt from prosecution in a number of European countries. If this indeed occurs in Canada, we will most certainly expect a continuing upward trend in the number of authorizations for Cannabis.

What this Arbitration tells us is that cannabis impairment can last for 24 hours and if an employee is using daily, this will pose a safety risk in a safety sensitive workplace. Safety is paramount and all employers must investigate each and every employee using medical cannabis in a safety sensitive role. DriverCheck’s Medical Cannabis Review Program can help you! Contact cannabis@DriverCheck.ca

 

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June 11th, 2018 | administrator

Vlog Series: CFL Legends – Inspired to Live Healthier

June 1, 2018 [Ayr, ON] – In this video, Executive Director of the CFL Alumni Association (CFL AA), Leo Ezerins tells us why the CFL AA has partnered with the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation and how the partnership has inspired the CFL AA to lead healthier lives while inspiring others. For simple health, tips visit DontChangeMuch.ca/CFL/

 

 

June 1st, 2018 | administrator

Vlog Series: Jerseys For Humboldt

April 13, 2018 [Ayr, ON] – People all over the world put on their best jerseys April 12/18 in support of the recent Humboldt Broncos tragedy. DriverCheck was no exception. As a small town business, this hits home for us all. All staff wore yellow, green or their favorite jersey to show their love. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.

April 13th, 2018 | administrator

Vlog Series: Leo Ezerins – Life After the CFL

April 4, 2018 [Ayr, ON]  – We catch up with Leo Ezerins, Executive Director of the CFL Alumni Association and former Grey Cup champion to discuss life after football and how the CFL Alumni Association supports their members during the big life transition.

April 4th, 2018 | administrator

6 Quick Tips to Healthy Living

February 23, 2018 [Ayr, ON] – Wayne Hartrick, President, of Canadian Men’s Health Foundation provides 6 Quick Tips to Health Living. Even the smallest changes you make, can improve your overall health and well-being.

 

 

February 23rd, 2018 | administrator

Don’t Change Much – Small Changes Make a Difference – Vlog

January 31, 2018 [Ayr, ON] – We recently caught up with Wayne Hartrick, President, of Canadian Men’s Health Foundation to discuss how even the smallest changes you make, can improve your overall health and well-being.

January 31st, 2018 | administrator

Vlog Series: Marijuana Unwrapped – Don’t Just Roll With It

December 18, 2017 [Ayr, ON] – Not able to attend our last seminar on cannabis in the workplace? Want to relive the day and highlights of key takeaways?

Never fear, DriverCheck TV is here!

On Oct. 24, 2017, DriverCheck hosted Marijuana Unwrapped – Don’t Just Roll With It in Calgary. This was an educational seminar about the challenges of cannabis in the workplace. Over 230 people attended, with the purpose of leaving with a better understanding of how to handle and adapt to workplace concerns of cannabis.

Check out the highlights from the session in this video:
Marijuana Unwrapped – Don’t Just Roll With It

The key takeaway is that there is no simple answer with cannabis in the workplace. Whether it’s for medicinal purposes, or the upcoming legalization, it is best to stay engaged with subject matter experts who can address each company’s unique scenario, corporate objectives, ethics and goals.

Still have questions, after the watching the video? Feel free to contact cannabis@DriverCheck.ca to discuss.

December 18th, 2017 | administrator

Cannabis & Safety Sensitive Occupations Don’t Mix

September 14, 2017 [AYR, ON] – Cannabis (marijuana) use, that has been authorized for medical purposes has soared in Canada over the last number of years. Recently, we have seen a large spike in authorizations, which is likely due to the pending legalization of cannabis and society’s general acceptance of cannabis use as a “cure-all” for a variety of medical conditions. It may seem to employers that ‘everyone’ is now using cannabis and claiming it is for medical purposes.

Although authorized by a physician, cannabis, namely THC, remains a psychoactive substance that has the potential for safety concerns at work, especially with employees working in safety sensitive or safety critical jobs. 

As more research studies are conducted that outline the impact of cannabis on operating a motor vehicle, decision making skills and reflexes, it is apparent that if a worker has an authorization for Cannabis for Medical Purposes, they would require an evaluation to determine whether or not they are fit for duty in a safety sensitive occupation.

Employers should be advised that the comments in this article relate to the non-DOT review of marijuana laboratory confirmed positive tests and are not applicable to programs subject to U.S. DOT Regulations. Any worker subject to DOT Regulations who tests positive for THC or THC metabolite, regardless of whether it’s medical or not, will have their drug result reported to the company as positive and is still medically disqualified from performing safety  sensitive duties defined and governed by U.S. DOT until he/she stops using cannabis, has an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional and complies with and completes the Substance Abuse Professional’s requirements, and then tests negative on all required DOT tests. 

The MROs at DriverCheck Inc. have experienced first-hand the increase in authorizations for cannabis for medical purposes, and subsequently, an increase of laboratory confirmed positive drug tests for cannabis. It is the responsibility of the MRO to determine whether the positive drug test for cannabis (THC or THC metabolite) is due to a medical authorization for cannabis for medical purposes or illicit use. There are many dispensaries where physicians can write a letter or referral to authorize their patient to purchase “medical cannabis”. These dispensaries, however, are not legal sources in Canada and products purchased from such dispensaries are NOT considered to be a legitimate medical explanation, despite the fact that physicians are recommending or signing referrals for patients to attend.

The ONLY source of legal cannabis, at the moment, is that which is purchased from a Health Canada Authorized Licensed Producer (LP) or for some patients, grown legally with Health Canada authorization. Physicians must complete a form to authorize their patient to register with and purchase cannabis from an LP. As MROs, we verify that there is an authorization from a physician, that the worker is registered with an LP and that they are actually purchasing the cannabis from said LP. Only once we can verify all of this information are we satisfied that the cannabis was procured legitimately.

Though the worker may have a legitimate medical explanation, it does not alleviate the safety concerns in the workplace, nor does it mean they are fit for safety sensitive duties.

It is important to remember that the role of the MRO is to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the positive test and to alert the employer of potential safety risks. During the MRO review, an imminent safety risk may be found to which the MRO will ensure that the employer is aware. However, to determine fitness for duty, an additional hands-on assessment is required.

With respect to Cannabis for Medical Purposes – we wholeheartedly agree that there are numerous concerns with workplace safety, despite a legitimate medical explanation. We make recommendations that the authorizing physician be contacted to make a determination as to whether the employee can safely perform their duties at work. It may then be necessary for the individual to undergo a Fitness for Duty evaluation by a qualified medical practitioner with corresponding expertise to determine if the donor is medically qualified to perform their duties. DriverCheck is now able to work with your company to help facilitate this process.

At DriverCheck, our result letter sent to the employer will ALWAYS include a notation to alert you that there is an employee with authorization to use Cannabis for Medical Purposes and that we have verified this. It will also include a recommendation for an assessment, as previously outlined above, due to the known impact of cannabis on work performance and safety.

In summary DriverCheck’s MRO review process is:

Tests with a laboratory confirmed positive result for THC or THC metabolite for which a valid authorization exists will:

However, with verified negative cannabis tests, you will be alerted to authorized cannabis for medical reasons with a safety warning that is specific to these types of results.

As Canada’s fitness for duty experts, our top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace.

***********************************************************************************************************************************We hope you enjoyed this article. Have comments or questions about this article? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.

About Dr. Melissa Snider-Adler, M.D., C.C.F.P., M.R.O. (AAMRO), D,A.B.A.M.:

Chief Medical Review Officer, DriverCheck Inc.

Dr. Snider-Adler is the Chief Medical Review Officer for DriverCheck. Her background is in Family Medicine, but now works primarily in the field of Addiction Medicine. She has been providing Opioid Agonist Therapy in multiple practice settings throughout Ontario for the last sixteen years. Dr. Snider-Adler is certified as a Medical Review Officer by the American Association of Medical Review Officers. She is also certified as a Physician practicing Addiction Medicine by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. Dr. Snider-Adler is an Assistant Professor at Queen’s University Department of Family Medicine. She was one of the authors of the 2011 Methadone Maintenance Treatment Program Standards and Clinical Guidelines and continues to work as a Peer Assessor for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario where she also sits on the Methadone Assessors Committee. Dr. Snider-Adler gives talks across Canada to companies, physicians and the community about workplace substance abuse and addiction prevention and treatment.

September 14th, 2017 | administrator