Florida based workers’ compensation defense attorney Elizabeth A. Yohe spoke with Business Insurance for the cover story, “Construction Sector Contends with Legal Marijuana at Work,” published on November 1, 2023. The article explores how the widespread legalization of marijuana has created safety concerns for employers and insurers in the construction industry and its impact on workers’ compensation claims. Testing, one area of concern, is considered by many to be outdated as it only detects the presence of marijuana but not the level of impairment, which as Liz pointed out, “[T]here’s nothing that’s reliable at this point” in terms of drug tests. While preemployment marijuana testing is outlawed in some states, industry concern about on-the-job impairment continues leading construction employers to explore other ways to keep job sites safe and mitigate workers’ compensation claim costs. “At this point, from everything I’ve seen and read, risk managers are staying in line with zero tolerance in the construction industry. There’s just not a lot of room for leeway,” Liz said.
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