High tradies: the real tools on site?

Up to one in five blue collar workers may be high at work, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC).

In a sample of more than 500 Aussie tradies responding to a web-based survey, from various fields 21 per cent of respondents indicated they had consumed cannabis within four hours of going to work.

“With Tradies Health Month being promoted in August, we feel it important to stress that some factors influencing the health and safety of blue collar workers are very much within their own control,” said Dr Peter Gates of NCPIC. “Our survey revealed almost 20 per cent of blue collar respondents are actually using cannabis while they are at work, which is not only shocking, but shows the disregard some people have for their own safety and that of their workmates.”

As cannabis use has been linked to impaired thinking, loss of balance and co-ordination, decreased concentration and impaired ability to complete complex tasks, it is not surprising that one in three of all respondents indicated they believed cannabis use has a significant impact on work skills and safety, the NCPIC said.

Dr Gates added: “No tradie wants to be responsible for hurting a mate while on the job, so knowing the side effects of cannabis use, and weighing up that risk, is really important.”

The National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre is a Government-funded initiative aimed at preventing uptake of cannabis and providing evidence-based resources for users and their support networks, as well as specialists in the alcohol and other drug field. In response to this month’s survey, the centre has produced a brief information pack about cannabis and drug testing, available free to organisations that wish to educate their new starters, by including it in induction kits. The pack can be accessed via the centre’s website, www.ncpic.org.au.

Individuals who currently have concerns or problems related to their cannabis use can access the free national Cannabis Information and Helpline on 1800 30 40 50

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