PHONE 800-258-3190
Associated Benefits and Risk Consulting - Solutions


Up in smoke: An update on state marijuana laws and their implications

Last fall, we presented you with some of the changes in state marijuana laws and what implications they could have in the workplace, and this spring we debated whether medical marijuana could be covered under your company’s medical plans. In the few short months that have followed, we are seeing more legislation either allowing the use medical marijuana or legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. This recent flurry of activity begs the question, “Are all the marijuana prohibitions going up in smoke?”

Lockout-tagout (LOTO) comes in at #5 in OSHA’s list of most frequently cited violations

The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout-Tagout) regulation first went into effect in 1989. The intent of the standard was to prevent injuries and deaths caused by accidental start-up of equipment during maintenance or servicing. In large part, the standard has been successful and can be attributed to saving an estimated 122 lives and preventing over 28,000 injuries each year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Even with this success, OSHA recognizes that many employers are still deficient in some areas.

Hands-free driving law creates potential exposures and legal implications for employers

On August 1, the expanded “hands-free” technology-while-driving law goes into effect in the State of Minnesota. This means when a motor vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic (yes, that means while stopped at a stoplight), the driver is prohibited from using a wireless communication device without hands-free technology. Penalties are $50 for a first offence (plus court fees) and $275 for each offense thereafter.