Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards [and how to avoid them]

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards

Cannabis Industry Safety is more critical now than ever. At a time when other industries seem to be struggling to keep afloat, the marijuana industry is the fastest growing industry that hires more and more employees every day. According to the BLS, 5.5 million jobs in the manufacturing industry were lost between 2000 and 2017. However, the legal cannabis market is expected to have over a quarter-million jobs by the year 2020.

While other industries struggle to keep afloat, the marijuana industry is the fastest-growing. Hiring more and more employees every day. According to the BLS, 5.5 million jobs in the manufacturing industry were lost between 2000 and 2017. Yet, the legal cannabis market expects to have over a quarter-million jobs by the year 2020.

Despite high employment, the industry faces some safety hazards, just like other industries. OSHA General Duty Clause – in Section 5 (a) (1) states that you as an employer should provide your employees with a workplace free from identifiable hazards that have the potentiality to cause serious harm or even death to your workers.

Cannabis Industry Safety

The Cannabis Industry includes:

  • Cultivation
  • Distribution
  • Laboratory testing
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail

Marijuana Industry Safety Hazard Breakdown

Meanwhile, Most of the hazards in the marijuana industry are like those experienced in other industries. Be aware of Grow House Hazards to avoid disasters. These hazards break down into three main categories: biological, physical, and chemical.

Biological Hazards

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards biological hazards

For instance, these types of hazards can arise from working with marijuana plants. Some of the common biological agents include bacteria and fungi. Meanwhile, these agents can affect the health of your workers by causing the throat, skin and eye irritation, nasal congestion, and other physical health effects.

Some of the most likely biological hazards that your employees may encounter include:

Mold

Employees assigned to cultivating and trimming of marijuana can be exposed to mold. Mold growth and mold spores are most likely to occur due to the high humidity levels that are required for the production of marijuana. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the production of marijuana requires humidity levels of 70 percent.

Also, the presence of mold and mold spores in the air can cause breathing problems, coughing, wheezing, exacerbation of asthmatic conditions, and other respiratory infections.

In other words, to protect your employees from mold, you need to control moisture levels. Standing water may increase the humidity levels, and you may have to invest in proper irrigation methods.

You can also combat moisture by vacuuming instead of sweeping and increasing ventilation. Yet, you may not always know the mold spore levels after using the recommended control strategies. Ensure that your workers always wear the right personal protective equipment (PPE).

The right PPE will provide your employees with skin, eye, and respiratory protection.

Sensitizer and Allergens

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards respiratory hazards

As a result, several reported cases describing episodes of employees in the marijuana industry experiencing allergic reactions. Including anaphylaxis, and hypersensitivity to marijuana. For example, employees whose skin gets into direct contact may experience itchy skin, hives, and puffy or swollen eyes.

Like many other sensitizers, initial exposure to the plant may result in a normal response. But, repeated exposure may lead to an abnormal response. As a result, Allergens can cause itchiness, coughing, sneezing, and wheezing.
If it’s not possible to cut exposure to these allergens, start by improving the ventilation. Also consider job rotation, worker training, and using the right PPE.

Physical Hazards

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards electrical hazards

Likewise, the marijuana industry shares several physical hazards from other industries.
Some of the common physical hazards include:

Compressed Gas

In the production of marijuana, you have to use various gases such as carbon dioxide for enrichment purposes. The use of large quantities of these gases can be a threat to your employee’s safety. Compressed gases are dangerous due to the high pressure inside the cylinders. So to prevent injuries, ensure that your employees understand and use the right safety precautions.

Electrical

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards fire hazards

But for marijuana to grow, it needs a great deal of energy. Several hazards can emanate from temporary wiring, blocked electrical panels, missing breakers. And the use of electricity at high humidity levels, overloaded circuits, and lack of electrical training, among other electrical hazards.

Apart from electrical hazards, the law requires protecting your employees from dangerous energy sources.

Avoid grow house fires! Review Cannabis Industry Safety hazards present in all these areas:

  • Lighting hazards
  • Flammable or combustible liquids
  • Noise
  • Occupational injuries
  • Confined spaces

Chemical Hazards

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards chemical hazards

Further, chemicals used in the production of marijuana pose several health and safety hazards. To keep your workers safe, it’s important to provide information on any harmful substances. The best way to inform your employees is through training and information about various chemicals. You can do this through SDSs (Safety Data Sheets).

Some Cannabis Industry Safety chemical hazards in the marijuana industry include:

Carbon Dioxide

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards carbon dioxide

Also, Employees in the marijuana industry who work in cultivation may encounter carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is often used in dry ice or liquid gas to speed up plant growth. And in the extraction process for the production of concentrates. Carbon dioxide is an asphyxiant, which means that it displaces oxygen.

Symptoms of carbon dioxide exposure include dizziness, headache, increased heart rate, rapid breathing. And in extreme cases, it can cause unconsciousness and death.

This explains why most industries that face carbon dioxide hazards have monitoring devices.

To protect your employees, it is important that you know about the health and safety hazards of carbon dioxide. Install carbon dioxide monitors and also maintain them. Avoid using dry ice in confined places, and when your employees are handling it, they should always use the right PPE.

The right PPE may include safety glasses and disposable gloves. Additionally, it’s also important to train your employees on the harmful effects of carbon dioxide and symptoms of exposure.

Carbon Monoxide

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards carbon monoxide

Your employees are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide during the production of marijuana. The high levels of carbon monoxide can overcome your employees without warning. The CDC reported a total of 2,244 deaths resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning. This affects employees that work in spaces with limited ventilation. 

Subsequently, Carbon dioxide can cause illness, coma, neurological damage, and death. Keep your employees safe by installing carbon monoxide monitors. And ensure that you have a ventilation system that can remove carbon monoxide.

Pesticides

Production of marijuana requires the use of insecticides and fungicides. Yet, some pesticides can cause skin and respiratory hazards. Employees cultivating or harvesting marijuana, loading or applying pesticides, cleaning equipment used in the application of pesticides can be affected.

According to the EPA Agricultural Worker Protection Standards, it’s mandatory for all employees applying pesticides or fungicides to be aware of the risks as indicated by the manufacturer. It is also important for your employees to wear the right PPE to protect them against exposure.

Protect Your Workers

Cannabis Industry Safety and Hazards PPE

In short, your workers are the lifeblood of your cannabis cultivation business. However, like other industries, your facility has the potential to expose your workers to several hazards. Such as dust, pesticides, UV light, marijuana resin, and mold spores among other hazards.

Exposure to these hazards has both short-term and long-term negative effects.

Additionally, the cleanliness of items used in the production of marijuana is important in the result of the product.

These circumstances affect indoor marijuana cultivation where conditions tend to be warm and damp, and have inadequate ventilation.

To sum up, given the unique Cannabis Industry Safety hazards, you should be familiar with the potential risks. Mitigate these hazards that can affect you, your product, and your employees. Use the right safety equipment and procedures.

Take a look at personal protective equipment, especially respiratory protection for cannabis industries and others.

For more Cannabis Industry Safety regulations and training specific to California, head to Cal/OSHA.

Aloe Disposable Gloves Moisturize & Protect

Protective gloves are essential for numerous commercial, medical and industrial work environments, including laboratories, cleanrooms, food handling operations and factories. Unfortunately, most of the disposable protective gloves used in these operations promote hand dryness.

In addition, in some workplaces such as hospitals and clinics, the workers are required to change gloves often, use alcohol for disinfection and wash their hands constantly. As a result, the hands are more prone to dryness and irritation.

Aloe Disposable Gloves
Moisturize & Protect

If your employees have been affected by issues related to hand dryness, chapping and other related symptoms, you should think about investing in aloe gloves. In general, aloe gloves are manufactured by incorporating a coating of aloe vera on the internal surfaces of the product.

The aloe helps in retaining the hand moisture, preventing chapping.

When used for prolonged periods, they will help in keeping the hands supple and soft, unlike the traditional gloves on the market.

Here are some of the best aloe gloves on the market to consider for your operations if you are interested in disposable hand protection with moisturizing properties.

Professional Nitrile Hand Gloves with Aloe

Professional nitrile gloves are perfect for your work environment if you are looking for powder-free products with superior protective capabilities. These aloe gloves will create an exceptional barrier against chemicals, dirt and other harmful materials.

They are quite resistance to tearing, stress and abrasion. In addition, the surfaces are textured, guaranteeing superior gripping force in wet conditions. You should also note that these gloves are ambidextrous for expedient donning.

Generation Pink Pearl Exam Gloves

Generation Pink Pearl Nitrile Exam Glove with Aloe
Generation Pink Pearl Nitrile Exam Glove with Aloe

Individuals working in medical examination rooms are required to change gloves frequently, disinfect and wash their hands. Unfortunately, these processes can cause skin irritation. The Generation Pink gloves have an organic aloe lining to soothe the irritation and moisturize the damaged skin.

The nitrile material is ideal for barrier protection in medical situation.

It has superior chemical protection, and the gloves made from the material can be used for handling chemotherapy drugs.

  • Soothe and moisturize your hands!
  • Extra-Thick 5.5 mil gloves for excellent barrier protection.
  • Nitrile material for superior chemical resistance.
  • Tested for use with chemotherapy drugs.
  • Pink, sheen color with full texture for better grip.

AloeTouch Powder Free Latex Gloves

AloeTouch Powder Free Latex Exam Gloves
Aloetouch 3G Vinyl Exam Gloves

You should choose AloeTouch latex gloves if you are looking for standard gloves with minimal negative effects on the hands. As implied, these gloves are made using natural rubber latex. This material is favored in glove manufacture because it is comfortable and snug.

In addition, it provides superior protection against contaminants. Unlike normal gloves, these aloe gloves are not lined with powder. Instead, they are coated with soothing aloe to keep the hands supple. Due to latex allergies, nitrile or vinyl is often preferred.

  • Soothing protection while you work.
  • Gloves are coated with aloe vera which naturally helps moisturize and prevents skin from drying out.
  • Natural rubber latex gloves offer superior barrier protection keeping you safe.
  • Fully textured surface provides a sure grip for instruments or when working on dressings.

AloeTouch 3G Vinyl Exam Gloves

Aloetouch 3G Vinyl Exam Gloves

Aloetouch 3G Vinyl Exam Gloves

The AloeTouch Vinyl examination gloves are designed as an alternative to natural rubber latex gloves.

These gloves are made using vinyl which is synthetic and tough. The plastic resin used in the manufacture boasts of longer polymer chains.

Therefore, the material of the gloves is flexible and durable in comparison to alternative products. In addition, these disposable products have a moisturizing effect and provide exceptional tactile sensitivity.

  • Soft & Flexible for maximum tactile sensitivity
  • Latex-free stretch synthetic glove that offers outstanding tactile sensitivity with softness and flexibility.
  • Vinyl Exam Gloves coated with Aloe to soothe your hands all day.

AloeTouch Sterile Nitrile Gloves

AloeTouch Sterile Nitrile Gloves

AloeTouch Sterile Nitrile Gloves

If you are looking for aloe gloves for a range of medical applications such as OBGYN, trauma and pharmaceutics, you should consider choosing AloeTouch sterile nitrile gloves.

These disposable items have a tough, latex-free structure.

Therefore, they will shield against contaminants while preventing allergic reactions in sensitive people. You should also note that the outer layer of the gloves is textured to create a gripping surface while the inner surface is coated with aloe for optimal skin comfort.

  • Thick 6.7 mil gloves keep you safe!
  • 12″ Powder-Free Latex-Free Nitrile Exam Gloves are ideal for use in the OB/GYN, ER/Trauma, Burn Centers and Pharmacy, or other areas where durable latex-free, sterile protection is needed.
  • Textured for a secure grip.
  • Aloe coating helps soothe and moisturize hands with each wearing.
  • Plastic packaging resists moisture and minimizes fiber tears. Opens quickly, easily.
  • Meets ASTM requirements for barrier protection and quality.

AloeTouch Ice Nitrile Gloves

AloeTouch Ice Nitrile Gloves

AloeTouch Ice Nitrile Gloves

The AloeTouch Ice nitrile gloves provide dependable protection without compromising the tactile sensitivity.

In simple terms, the user will be able to experience optimal touch sensitivity through the 2.5 mil gloves.

These gloves are quite tough and will resist tearing and general damage.

Moreover, the fingertips are textured for better grip performance. The incorporated aloe lining is also beneficial for providing essential moisture with every glove change.

  • Moisturized, Good Grip
  • 2.8 mils thick nitrile offers excellent sensitivity and dependable protection.
  • Aloe coating helps soothe and moisturize hard working hands with each glove change.
  • Tested & approved or use with chemotherapy drugs.

Choosing the right aloe gloves for your medical, laboratory or general operations is essential for the comfort of your workers and optimal protection.

Visit our online store to learn more.

Food Safety and Surface Sanitation Tips

Food Safety and Surface Sanitation Tips

Basic Food Safety Tips: 5 Minute Crash Course

Food Handling Safety. Maintaining a safe and clean work environment is critical in preventing foodborne illness. Bacteria and other harmful elements can grow on dirty surfaces and contaminate food.

 

A work area that looks clean should not be considered a sanitized environment. As a food handler or restaurant owner, make sure that your food handling meets sanitation standards. And that you are delivering safe-to-eat food to customers.

Food can become contaminated at any stage during preparation, distribution, and production. Every individual along the production chain should be equipped and trained in food safety. Unfortunately, most of the food handling facilities (such as restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, institutional cafeteria, etc.) do not give due attention to sanitation. This is why a great majority of people experience foodborne diseases.

Why is food safety important?

According to World Health Organization, more than 200 diseases spread through food. This fact highlights the importance of making sure the food we consume is not contaminated. Such contaminated can be harmful chemicals toxins, parasites, viruses, and bacteria. To improve the situation, WHO built the Five Keys to safer food. This helps countries promote safe food handling practices and procedures. And educates people associated with the food industry.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million Americans fall prey to foodborne illness annually. Restaurants and other places  food is processed or handled have an obligation to ensure consumers are protected against foodborne health issues. It can take only one incident to tarnish your brand.

Food safety tips and basics

There are 4 basic principles of food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill. Use food service wipes to clean anything that comes into contact with food, or is a food contact surface. Separate raw meat and seafood from cooked items to prevent cross-contamination. Preparing various food items, such as meat and poultry, at an optimal temperature also helps to kill pathogens. Besides that, refrigerate food promptly.

Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray
Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray

How to improve food safety

How can you establish food-safety practices without spending too much money and time? The following are some of precautionary measures  you can consider and put in place for enhanced food safety:

  • Reduce the risk of non-compliance from workers throughout the food handling system.
  • Simplify sanitation practices by adopting easy-to-use sanitizing food equipment.
  • Proper food handling and sanitation (consistent cleaning of food contact surfaces with all-encompassing products such as quat disinfectant cleaners)
  • Dry hands with a clean towel, disposable paper towel or food service wipes
  • Instruct your workers to wear and change disposable food gloves frequently
  • Ensure supply chain compliance with recommended food-safety practices.
  • Always use recommended and approved products to ensure food contact surface sanitation.

Polyethylene Food Service and Handling GlovesPolyethylene Food Service and Handling Gloves

DuraSkin Blue Vinyl Gloves, Powder-Free
DuraSkin Blue Vinyl Gloves, Powder-Free

Personal hygiene and affordable solutions

Apart from training  programs, provide employees with enough facilities and sanitation products to improve your sanitary conditions. Food service wipes, for example, are an inexpensive and valuable sanitation item.

Help your staff improve hygiene without doing anything complex or difficult. Use polyester towels made to ensure food contact surface sanitation. Get food service towels, Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaners, and other proven food safety products in bulk. Better prepare your facility to meet sanitation requirements.

Chix Medium-Duty Foodservice Towels with Microban
Chix Medium-Duty Foodservice Towels with Microban

Personal hygiene is especially important for food handlers and food servers. Employees with infected sores or cuts should not be allowed to prepare or serve food.

Employees who have anything to do with food or food contact surfaces must be given training so that they can understand the idea of personal or environmental hygiene. Food handlers are people who manufacture, prepare, process, deliver, transport or serve food. Even people who clean equipment and premises should be aware of sanitation and cleanliness.

Clorox Pro Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner
Clorox Pro Quaternary Disinfectant Cleaner

The impact of sanitation

The significance of food workplace sanitation goes beyond regulatory actions. Cleaning activities must done in a manner that will not harm workers.

There are some sanitation tasks that require staff to clean potentially dangerous equipment. But, having a proper sanitation apparel and safety gear can improve the productivity of your food business.

Conclusion

Food safety has become a vital global public health issue as consumers suffer from many foodborne diseases. Health concerns from foodborne pathogens make it mandatory for the food industry to take actions to mitigate the situation.

Regulatory authorities and government agencies worldwide are putting their efforts to enhance food safety so that no one suffers following the consumption of food items.

Start improving food sanitation conditions at your facility. Provide employees with simple and affordable solutions. Use food service wipes, food gloves, and disinfectant cleaners.

Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and keep customers coming back. Put in place recommended food safety practices and stock approved food handling products. Prepare your employees to both prevent and react to food safety issues.

About us

Get a broad range of high-quality and cost-effective food sanitation wipes, food gloves, and other food service products. Keep your restaurant’s reputation intact and reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses.

Practice good food safety habits. Improve the quality of your food handling processes, and ensure customer satisfaction. Browse through our food safety products to find what suits your business. Or get in touch via phone or online chat.

See More Food Service Supplies

 

 

3 Differences Between Nitrile Gloves & Latex Gloves

3 Differences Between Nitrile & Latex Gloves

Latex Gloves vs Nitrile Gloves

3 Key Differences of Disposable Nitrile Gloves

Until recently, latex was the go-to material for gloves across many different applications. Now, we have a couple of different choices when it comes to disposable gloves. Latex gloves are still commonly used in some medical applications. However, nitrile gloves are becoming an increasingly popular choice.

Here, we’ll discuss the differences in features between these two types of disposable glove materials:

1. What They’re Made Of

Did You Know…?

Latex is actually made of organic tree sap.

Sap from rubber tree

It’s no surprise that individuals who are prone to allergies often find themselves irritated by latex. In fact, latex allergies are so common that FDA even issued a recommendation for medical suppliers to label products according containing latex.

Because contact with latex can cause harmful irritations to the user if they are allergic to it. Latex gloves are considered to be more inherently dangerous than nitrile.

Latex allergic reaction
Latex allergic reaction

Nitrile is made of inorganic synthetic materials. Considered to be 100% clean of allergens. Thus, there are no harmful properties (specifically, allergenic proteins) found within disposable nitrile gloves.

So, f latex allergies are a concern for anyone coming into contact with your disposable gloves, nitrile is the obvious choice.

Nitrile is the perfect choice for latex allergies, medical exams, and food handling.

2. How They Fit

Latex gloves are available in a variety of sizes, so their fit is somewhat customizable. That said, the material is non-conforming. Regardless of wear duration, latex gloves will never fully mold to your hand.

Latex has no sizing memory feature. As a result, many cleanroom operators and other types of disposable glove wearers find latex to be less than ideal in terms of comfort.

Now:

Let’s say we have a nitrile glove on the other hand (literally and figuratively). It will actually form to the wearer, thanks to its unique memory membrane. Unlike latex.

The result is a more comfortable fit. And with reduced slipping, sticking, or other nuisances typically caused by latex gloves. Nitrile may also protect against hand fatigue.

3. Level Of Protection Provided

Nitrile gloves offers superior puncture protection
Nitrile gloves offers superior puncture protection

With a proper fit, latex can be fairly durable. It’s highly resistant against alkalis, acids, ketones, alcohols, and other types of contaminants.

Nitrile is more puncture resistant:

Latex does little to protect the skin in contrast with the puncture resistance achieved by nitrile gloves.

Whereas latex can rupture when used too roughly or by snagging on a piece of equipment. Nitrile is more durable and thus achieves a higher level of barrier protection.

In applications where operator safety could be a concern, nitrile is a top-notch choice.

As you can see, nitrile tends to outperform latex in many key areas.

Latex gloves are still an affordable and feasible option for some applications, including certain industrial settings.

Yet, for applications in which users may come into contact with puncture risks or harsh chemicals, opting for nitrile’s added protection will provide greater peace of mind. And it’s also a necessary step if you have employees with latex allergies.

Browse and learn about all of options of latex gloves and nitrile disposable gloves in our store.