Jun 22, 2020
New Courses In Ergonomics Aim To Reduce Cannabis Workplace Injuries

The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) is releasing a collection of four courses in its NCRMAcademy that will focus on ergonomics and the prevention of workplace injuries in the cannabis industry.

The courses will be presented by Alex Hearding, NCRMA’s chief risk management officer, and Dr. Chris Hughes, a professor and physical therapist with Atlas Performance Technologies, specializing in orthopedic physical therapy and biomechanics. The courses are:

  • Introduction to Cannabis Ergonomics: Worker rights, ergonomic hazards and repetitive motion injuries, hazard controls, ergonomic process for operations, developing an optimal workflow, and an introduction to best practices – taught by Hearding.
  • Prune Like a Pro: Practices with biomechanical analytics to avoid hazards and injuries while cannabis pruning – taught by Dr. Hughes.
  • Trim Like a Pro: Practices with biomechanical analytics to avoid hazards and injuries while trimming cannabis – taught by Dr. Hughes.
  • Lift Like a Pro: Practices with biomechanical analytics to prevent injuries while lifting in a cannabis work environment – taught by Dr. Hughes.

The courses will be available on June 23 following a presentation by Hearding and Dr. Hughes in an episode of Chronic Risk, NCRMA’s webinar series, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The event will be hosted by Tamala J. McBath, chief execution officer for the NCRMA. Visit https://ncrma.net/ncrmacademy to register for the webinar here. The courses will be offered at $150 each.

Concerns about ergonomics in the cannabis industry are emerging as workers experience injuries due to their operational tasks. The NCRMA’s courses are designed to address these issues and prepare users for pending regulations and oversight coming from state agencies.

“Cannabis operations have many tasks with repetitive motions, like trimming and pruning. Workers who perform these jobs are at a heightened risk of injuries like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome,” Hearding said. “These courses are designed to teach the hazards of repetitive motion injuries and how to manage them with best practices. Addressing these issues may help improve workplace safety, enhance morale and could impact workers’ compensation insurance premiums.”

Hearding said states like California are likely to impose ergonomics standards for cannabis that will require businesses to train workers.

“There really isn’t a tremendous amount of awareness about this beyond the workers themselves,” said Hearding. “We are bringing in Dr. Hughes, a world class professional, to develop the best routines and techniques.”

“These courses are for anyone along the cannabis production vertical who is repeatedly standing and lifting,” said Rocco Petrilli, chairman of the NCRMA. “We are getting out in front of the emerging industry standards and building the premier prevention fortress in the cannabis industry for NCRMA members.”

The organization will continue to expand the offerings in the NCRMAcademy to meet the ongoing and emerging needs of the cannabis industry. New courses on talent optimization, business continuity, and finance and investment will be announced in the coming weeks – giving the NCRMA a full curriculum designed to address various aspects of risk management.

“The resulting academy’s certifications will significantly contribute to NCRMA’s commitment to create a ‘best in class’ group of performers in the cannabis industry,” said Petrilli. “Just as we have developed these courses to address concerns about ergonomics, the NCRMA will be a leader in providing our members and the industry the training, support and expertise needed to succeed.”




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