Cannabis use and work-related injuries: a cross-sectional analysis

Occup Med (Lond). 2020 Dec 12;70(8):570-577. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqaa175.


Background: Although the association of cannabis use with automobile accidents has been well-studied, the impact of cannabis on workplace safety and injuries is less clear.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between work-related injury and cannabis use in the past year.

Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Community Health Survey (2013-16) of working individuals. We used multiple logistic regression modelling to calculate the odds of experiencing a work-related injury (defined as non-repetitive strain injury) among workers who reported using cannabis more than once during the prior 12 months as compared to non-users. We repeated the analysis among participants working in high injury risk occupational groups only.

Results: Among the 136 536 working participants, 2577 (2%) had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. Of these 2577 who had a work-related injury, 4% also reported being a cannabis user in the same period. We found no association between past-year cannabis use and work-related injury (odds ratio for work injury among users 0.81, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.99). The association was unchanged in the subgroup analysis limited to high injury risk occupational groups.

Conclusions: We found no evidence that cannabis users experienced higher rates of work-related injuries. While awaiting prospective studies, occupational medicine practitioners should take a risk-based approach to drafting workplace cannabis policies.

Keywords: Accident; cannabis; injury; marijuana; occupational; substance use.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Cannabis*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Injuries*
  • Prospective Studies