There’s No Hope With Dope

shutterstock_157734158

By Phil La Duke
Author
I Know My Shoes Are Untied Mind Your Own Business and
Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence

Full Disclosure: My ex-wife died of a heroin overdose three years ago leaving two daughters to pick up the pieces so I don’t have a ton sympathy for drug enthusiasts.

Before there was “Just Say No” public service announcements had the tagline “there’s no hope with dope.  My friends and I used to say it each other as we sparked one up, or when someone said something stupid, or…well we used the line in much the same way as Sick Boy and Mark Renton did in Trainspotting.  Personally, I wasn’t so much a drug abuser more of an alcohol abuser, but more on that later. More and more States are legalizing marijuana and given its effects (according to the National Institute On Drug Abuse the effects of cannabis (people like to pretty up the image and marketing by calling it cannabis) aren’t exactly what we would like to see in our workers “Marijuana overactivates (sic) parts of the brain that contain the highest number of these receptors. This causes the “high” that people feel. Other effects include:

  • altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
  • altered sense of time
  • changes in mood
  • impaired body movement
  • difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • impaired memory
  • hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
  • delusions (when taken in high doses)
  • psychosis (when taken in high doses)”

With number of remote workers, drivers, and contractors and no reliable method to test whether or not someone is currently high it makes for difficult enforcement. It’s difficult to keep workers who AREN’T high safe when someone is suffering from paranoid delusions and psychosis.  Since this is new territory, most States that have legalized cannabis don’t have laws against spiking the pot with other substances, legal limits for driving (or a way to test for it), or just about any criteria that the FDA would use to determine if pot is safe to use. Hell I don’t even know of a law that defines what cannabis is and what it is not.

Recreational Marijuana users listen up: I am sick to death of cannabis. I’m tired of party guests sneaking off to a corner of my garage to smoke a joint.  I’m tired of the sickly sweet smell of ganja wafting past me as I pass the band of reprobates huddled around the dumpster behind the American Legion Hall during breaks from BINGO. But mostly I am sick to death of people looking at me through pink, blood-stained eyes smugly thinking that they are so much cooler than I am for not partaking

In case you haven’t guessed I am not a pot enthusiast, but I don’t begrudge those who, in the privacy of their own homes, decide to ingest pot.  I don’t buy much of the bullshit about how much medical use there is for the drugs, that’s right drugs. My opthamologist tells me that their are at least 70 psychotropic drugs in marijuana the effects of many of which have never been studied.

And for the record I have smoked pot. I was first introduced to it at the age of 9 when I woke up high as a kite owing to the fact that my older brother used to smoke it in copious amounts in our shared bedroom while grooving to the Moody Blues.  It was a memory I won’t forget, a bit like the scene from the made for TV movie Go Ask Alice without the histrionics. I didn’t like what as happening but just went back to sleep.  Later, when I was 13 I smoked my first joint with my sister after she picked me up from my power position as the clean up boy at the Dairy Queen. I was done with work and figured there was no harm in relaxing with what I was assured was a safe and enjoyable drug.  

Later at high school, I remember the terror of smoking a joint with my friends in the back seat of my buddy’s sister’s hand me down Cadillac.  For me, smoking dope at school was a dumb move and a line that once crossed forever change me. I was officially a burn out. I had changed schools after my freshman year of high school and  was trying to fit in. I had no such compunction about downing the better part of a fifth of whiskey and three beers on the school bus before school later that year, almost dying and receiving a merciful three day suspension.  The faculty council decided I was a good kid who had made a mistake, and I am grateful that they did although to a person they all regretted the decision.

Since then I’ve had a puff here or a puff there mainly to be sociable until giving it up since college. I never enjoyed pot and never understood the allure. For one it triggers my anxiety disorder, makes me paranoid, quiet and withdrawn; in short, for me cannabis is not the social lubricant that alcohol is.

On a recent trip to San Francisco the pedestrians all seemed to be stoned, most begged for money to get something to eat.  In Venice Beach a group of high panhandlers were stoned to get up and ask for a hand out, choosing instead to lie on ground and shout at me across the street.  Here’s a tip: don’t ask me to feed you when you have money for dope.

On to brass tacks. I am not some anti drug crusader but let’s face it cannabis is not harmless. Of course it is not as dangerous as cocaine or heroin which it is currently classified the same as such. Should it be legalized? I think that ship has sailed. But should we put the same rigors on it that we do alcohol? Certainly.  Cannabis impairs judgement slows reaction time, and generally makes you act like an emotionally stunted child. In Michigan, where I live, the laws have not quite caught up with the legalization of cannabis. There is much ado about the fact that there are no good indicators for determining if an individual has gotten high while driving or the day before, because cannabis stays in the system so long, and it is impossible to say whether or not the person is high, or just smoked pot several weeks before, or even if he or she is just an imbecile.

But there is something in the law in Michigan akin to the General Duty Clause.  Michiganders have a legal responsibility to operate a motor vehicle as safely as possible and we are actually required by law to violate a law that would cause a threat to ourselves or others.

Just as we can be ticketed for driving too fast for the weather/road conditions, we can also be ticketed for abruptly stopping at a yellow traffic light and causing an accident.  There is still a law on the books in Michigan called Operating a Vehicle While Visibly Impaired. The charge is typically imposed for people driving like a fool after consuming alcohol, but not enough to blow a .08 on the breathalyzer (incidentally one of the coolest names for something) but can also be imposed for someone driving while fatigued, sick, under the influence of Px or over the counter drugs, and now cannabis.

There are also laws on the books against loitering, public intoxication, and disturbing the peace, so if you’re doing your Cheech and Chong schtick in a public place you can be ticketed, fined, or my personal preference have a nightstick whacked upside your head.

So what can we do in the workplace? I would again invoke the General Duty Clause and stick to behaviors  and fitness for work. If someone is unfit for work because of intoxication—whether from cannabis or from drinking alcohol or even drinking cleaning products (don’t judge me) we still have a duty to protect our workers and a stoned worker is not a safe worker.  I know some of you may be thinking that a couple of puffs before work has no effect on your ability to work safely (and yes, there are plenty of people working in safety who use cannabis, I’ve met a couple) I would answer that argument the same way a person who asserts that he or she drives better drunk.

Legalization of cannabis has happened hastily, and without consideration for the many situations where smoking, eating, or vaping pot could constitute a threat to workplace or public safety. After all, there’s not hope with dope.

I am proud to announce the hard launch by Marriah Publishing of my second book, Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention.  This is all new material that cannot be found anywhere else. And I can now say that it is finally safe to order it (we have corrected the quality control issues and expect to have it out this week). In light of all the talk and panic around gun violence, and the shamefully bad advice some “experts” are giving I hope some of you will read it and pass it along to your executives and HR leads (go ahead, expense it, they will be glad you did.)

It can be purchased in hardcover or paperback at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Of course, my first book is still for sale, and you might rightly ask yourself, why on God’s green Earth would I read a book that contains previously released material? Simple, like the rainforest and the polar bears my work is disappearing from the web very quickly.  All but a handful of my work for Facility Management Magazine is gone, and you can basically only go back 2 years on my blog (8 year’s worth of my work that ranges in quality from magnificent to mindless dreck.) And besides about a third of the book is new material that cannot be found anywhere else. So buy it.

Did you like this post? If so you will probably like my book which can be ordered here I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business or on Barnes & Noble.com.

Advertisements

Cowards!

shutterstock_270251345

By Phil La Duke

I’m angry today, and I hope I can make you angry too.  A week and a half ago, I wrote an article for Entrepreneur magazine on a recent report that predicted that by the year 2030 (11 years for now for the mathematically challenged among you) 77 million US jobs will be lost to automation.  The story went viral on Twitter, and even had an electoral candidate retweet it three consecutive days, literally millions of people read it. 403 people clicked the post with at least 10 reading it to see if there was anything objectionable in it. The low readership was puzzling, but it didn’t make me angry,  This week I posted a second article published yesterday in Entrepreneur about the connection between domestic abuse and workplace fatalities.  Nobody cared. The twitter feed fell silent but for the virtual crickets. Of the 4201 followers I have on LinkedIn, only 186 clicked the link. A walloping .433%. Entrepreneur tweeted the article to its 4.3 MILLION followers. Nobody cares, not women, not men, not employers, not politicians, nobody.

Safety theorists squabble over the efficacies of models and approaches to workplace fatalities, and yet homicide, the fourth leading cause of workplace fatalities is largely ignored. And the fact that 77% of nonfatal assaults in the workplace are attacks on women; well that’s a shame seems to be the most popular response.  Of the women who are murdered in the workplace 48% are killed by a family matter or a domestic partner. But then who cares, right? They are after all, just women, and battered women at that. I’m sure most of you think they had it coming. Maybe you are just asking “who are we to get involved?” “or it’s a personal matter” No one cares that homicide is the number one cause of workplace death for women. No one has the guts to even discuss this, and it sickens me.

The general duty clause requires employers to provide a safe workplace for “his” employees. That’s right “his” employees. The sexism is written right into the standard (which by the way, for all you grammar cops, the proper pronoun for “employer” is “it”). We don’t have the fucking luxury (sorry if you were reading this aloud to a child or will use my use of course and guttural language as an excuse to put your tail between your legs and scurry away from this article. Go, I say, and don’t return!) to ignore this issue because we don’t want to think about it. I find it ironic that people find the word “fuck” objectionable but are okay ignoring women being raped, beaten, and murdered in the workplace. If my language is obscene it is far less so than ignoring a problem because it is difficult to talk about.

I deride you all as fucking cowards for not caring, and before you rise up in self righteous indignation, I define caring as being sufficiently outraged to actually get off your ass and DO SOMETHING. Workplace homicide is not an abstract concept; this is happening more and more frequently, fueled in part by the political climate that has marginalized women and normalized bigotry and hate.  Shame on all of you for doing nothing; choosing instead to bury your head in the sand and chant the mantra that it can’t happen here.

I wrote a book on this subject. I was commissioned by my publisher and my PR manager to write it.  I didn’t want to write it, but they insisted, telling me that it had to be written by a man, and it had to be written by me.  I didn’t understand at the time. My PR manager explained that it had to be written by a man or it would be dismissed as just another big-mouth woman on a soap box and it had to be me, because I don’t back down to anyone.  It took me a long time to write it. I have had personal experience with workplace homicides at a previous employer (although in the two incidents both were just off company property) I also have consulted at two companies that had workplace homicides. It changes you forever when someone you know, even causally is murdered.  The suddenness of it, the wait for justice that never seems to come, it is worse than suicide.

I get it that this isn’t a fun topic to debate, or even think about, but if you got into safety, or business to talk about daisies and unicorns you made a big mistake.  Most of what we deal with is ugly, brutal, and in some cases criminal. Il have sat through more than a couple of workplace violence prevention seminars and each one addresses violence in healthcare, and mass shootings, and even postal shootings, but none of these address the disparity between the number of women murdered by estranged spouse as compared to men.

It’s easy to blame the victims. I mean there was no way to see it coming right? Wrong.  There was no way to prevent it right? Wrong. No way to protect the victim right? Wrong.

They are killing our sisters, our daughters, our mothers,  and our friends. Isn’t preventing that enough to spark you into action? And if it isn’t what kind of monster are you?  I had a woman explain the depraved indifference people show to violence against women. She said, “men hate women, and women hate women”. I don’t know that I buy that. I prefer to think of the people who ignore this as the same kind of impotent cowards who stood by as Hitler killed their neighbors, and friends, and business associates—if we don’t talk or think about it, it will just go away.

And in that cowardice people die, and because of that cowardice we are all damned.

Usually I use this post to plug my books, but not this week.  My books aren’t for cowards and I would hate to think that someone might see one of your cowardly asses reading my books and get the wrong idea.

 

Safety Always Seems To Be Late To the Party

shutterstock_366396197

By Phil La Duke
Author
I Know My Shoes Are Untied Mind Your Own Business and
Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence

“You don’t know what’s going on. You’ve been away for far too long”

Out Of Time, The Rolling Stones

As I sat pondering what topic, if anything, I should propose to Safety 2020 I had a startling revelation, safety has spent so much time looking over its shoulder that it cannot see forward.  It’s not completely our fault—The National Safety Council and OSHA have been obsessed with counting bodies and lagging indicators that it wouldn’t surprise me a comet struck the world and they were the last surviving members of the human race that that they weren’t worrying over whether an injury was work related and if so was it a recordable. And with no apologies to the National Safety Council, well…. In my opinion they lag behind the most serious for the last decade; they act as if the walked out into the rain and discovered wet.  

Take the opioid epidemic, according to History of the Opioid Epidemic How Did We Get Here?

The opioid epidemic has occurred in three waves. The first wave began in 1991 when deaths involving opioids began to rise following a sharp increase in the prescribing of opioid and opioid-combination medications for the treatment of pain. The increase in opioid prescriptions was influenced by reassurances given to prescribers by pharmaceutical companies and medical societies claiming that the risk of addiction to prescription opioids was very low. During this time, pharmaceutical companies also began to promote the use of opioids in patients with non-cancer related pain even though there was a lack of data regarding the risks and benefits in these patients. By 1999, 86% of patients using opioids were using them for non-cancer pain. Communities where opioids were readily available and prescribed liberally were the first places to experience increased opioid abuse and diversion (the transfer of opioids from the individual for whom they were prescribed, to others, which is illegal).

The second wave of the opioid epidemic started around 2010 with a rapid increase in deaths from heroin abuse. As early efforts to decrease opioid prescribing began to take effect, making prescription opioids harder to obtain, the focus turned to heroin, a cheap, widely available, and potent illegal opioid. The use of heroin increased in both sexes, the majority of age brackets, and all socioeconomic groups. Deaths due to heroin-related overdose increased by 286% from 2002 to 2013, and approximately 80% of heroin users admitted to misusing prescription opioids before turning to heroin. Heroin is commonly injected, which puts users at risk for injection-related diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, skin infections, bloodstream infections, and infections of the heart.

The third wave of the epidemic began in 2013 as an increase in deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The sharpest rise in drug-related deaths occurred in 2016 with over 20,000 deaths from fentanyl and related drugs. The increase in fentanyl deaths has been linked to illicitly manufactured fentanyl (not diverted medical fentanyl) used to replace or adulterate other drugs of abuse.”

So the problem has been around 1991, so while the NSC was bleating and extolling the virtues of the Behavior Based Swindle people were dying.  Of course they finally got around to thinking that it might be a problem somewhere around 2017. Nice work, that. Research apparently 25 years in the making. And neither OSHA nor the NSC have ever accepted the direct role that they have played in this crisis.  Nobody sets out to die on a dingy floor frothing from the mouth from a heroin overdose. Tens of thousands get hooked because they got hurt on the job and are prescribed oxycontin or Vicodin once their doctor deems the drug no longer medically necessary the addicts turn to the street where oxycontin and Vicodin command top dollar while low grade that has been stepped on more than the welcome mat of a $2 bordello. This stuff is laced with poison and it is killing more people than any of us can imagine.  Talk to people and you will hear of relatives dying peacefully in their sleep at age 30 or some other euphemism we use two pretty up the ugliness associated with drug overdoses and suicides.

Or take workplace violence, a problem that costs industry $120 Billion in 2012 (the last time anyone apparently tried to calculate it) according to NIOSH as reported in Workplace Violence Costs Employers More than $120 Billion Each Year  is now all the rage at technical conference presentations.  Having done extensive research on the issue I know a fair about Workplace Violence, and it is different from mass shootings, violence in hospitals, and postal shootings.  I attended several recently and the first was so filled with bad advice it was like taking career advice from the Unabomber, as a fellow attendee observed, “this presentation is like a fourth-grade book report and he got a C minus on it”. (He spent the first 20 minutes defining violence and what the workplace was and wasn’t) It was a muddled  puddle of crap that he spent 15 minutes looking up on the internet. He only made it three quarters through his presentation and when it ended I felt like the jail cell flew open and an openly apologetic turnkey said, “you’re free to go”. The second presentation I went to was equally painful as the presenter focused on postal shootings and how the people felt.  I wanted to scream ‘THEY FELT DEAD YOU BLITHERING IDIOT” but as people put conferences together they jump all over the topic like buzzards on a gut truck. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be concerned about workplace violence but NIOSH put out its report in 2012 (for the record my book, Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence deals exclusively with violence perpetrated by a lone gunman who has a specific target in mind, and it was commissioned by my publisher—the book, not the violence.) According to the NSC homicide is now the number 4 cause of workplace fatalities and women are the target of 77% of non-lethal assaults in the workplace? Where is the outrage? I give you a hint, there isn’t any. How many Fatality Prevention Programs even consider the FOURTH LEADING CAUSE OF WORKER FATALITIES?

Pick a topic, Distracted Drivers, Worker Fatigue, Texting While Driving we always seem to be slamming the barn door shut after the horses have escaped.. We spend so much time at conferences bragging about what we’ve done or stating the obvious that it sometimes makes me wonder why people attend and what, apart from a company paid trip to San Diego, entices  anyone to attend a conference? We need to demand better information on emerging trends and vote with our feet. In the meantime, I sit and ask myself what is the most meaningful topic can I bring to the community and I am forced into a conundrum: Do I put out the topics that the conference organizers will accept or do I send in abstracts that I think will help people? Or do I just retire from providing free speaking engagements all together?

Great News from Marriah Publishing my second book,  Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence will have its hard launch later this week. (Press releases, Interviews, and Book Events). And Entrepreneur magazine will be publishing Domestic Violence is Often the Cause Of  Workplace Violence. If you have a mother, aunt, sister, daughter, spouse, mistress, or any other female in your life that you don’t want to see murdered, beaten or raped at work buy the book and I hope some of you will read it and pass it along to your executives and HR leads (go ahead, expense it, they will be glad you did.)

It can be purchased in hardcover or paperback at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Of course, my first book is still for sale…

My first book which can be ordered here I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business or on Barnes & Noble.com. Why should you buy a book that you can get all the material online? Well it turns out you can’t get a lot of it online anymore.  As magazines change their websites they drop many of the older stories, mine among them. Also, my blog only archives to about January of 2017 so if you are a new reader there are some things in there I think you will enjoy.  Many people who are not employed in worker safety have told me how much they enjoyed the book and are surprised at its applicability to other disciplines. And then of course there is new material as well. So buy it, not for me, but the executives and middle managers, and front-line leaders who need a kick in the pants.  Also it makes a great gift for someone you don’t like but feel obligated to give a gift.

 

 

Fighting A Losing Battle Against Burnout

shutterstock_507578359

By Phil La Duke

Author
I Know My Shoes Are Untied Mind Your Own Business
Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence

It’s 3:27 a.m. Easter Sunday and I can’t sleep.  I was awakened by the thought that Easter is a time of renewal.   Not just for Christians, but for everyone. Some eager birds twitter outside my window anxious for Spring to finally arrive. And for so many of my readers on the other side of the world autumn forestalls the inevitable arrival of winter. As Dylan wrote, “the times they are a changin’” and I feel exhausted by them.

Last week I spoke for the 15th time in 13th consecutive year at the Michigan Safety Conference.  My time-slot wasn’t the best (1:45 p.m–2:45 p.m.) but it made sense to put me there—I traditionally fill the room irrespective of time slot.  Not this time. I had perhaps 30 people show up but given the room could hold well over 100 the crowd looked thin and largely disinterested. The moderator couldn’t remember the name of my session, struggled to read my introduction, and even pronounced I Know My Shoes Are Untied Mind Your Own Business before giving up on introducing me at all. My profound apologies to those attended.  While I reserve the right to change my mind, I believe I have done enough and will be retiring from speaking at the Michigan Safety Conference.  That’s not to say that I am retiring from speaking, I will be in Dublin for Techconnect Live, Safety 2019 in New Orleans, and two presentations at a Safety + VPPA conference in New Orleans again in August.

So back to Easter as a time of renewal. I feeling burnt out and fatigued.  I honestly don’t know how much time I have left, and I talked to many colleagues who felt the same way.  Safety, like any job where an honest mistake can cost people their lives, or where you have to fight with Operations over something they don’t want to do to protect the people under their charge. I work 0ver 40 hours each week and then write, I have articles coming out in HSME and Entrepreneur and I’m working on two more books simultaneously. So I need to find that inner passion like so many of you. Don’t worry, I’m sure it will return, but it gets harder and harder to put up with mouth=breathing cowards who send me hate email and threats.  If they really knew me they wouldn’t risk me pounding their temples with a rusty ball peen hammer should I run into them. Fair warning, you send me threats of violence or death I will kill you dead and eat your eyes. Feel free to use that in your next safety meeting, I know I will.

Let me be clear, I do this because it needs to be done. Somebody has to call the emperor naked. And if you take offense to this, don’t stop reading, read more. Read everything I’ve written and the more upset it makes you, the more it sends you into a frothy rage, know that I am talking about YOU and people like YOU.  Use this call for renewal as a wakeup call and either change your ways or get out of the business.

I’ve lost too many people because too many people didn’t do their jobs in Safety.  And when I say “people” I’m not just talking to people who have the word “safety” in their titles.  The title of my speech was “Be the Change You Want To Create” and I believe that. A good measure of the the audience didn’t want to be the change, they wanted me to tell them how to change others. How to get Operations to change.  Well Einstein said, “You can’t solve problems using the same thinking that you used to create them” and “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

Maybe I am insane.  I mean, I write, I speak, I consult, I coach over and over again, because I believe that repetition is the key to learning, so I keep doing the same thing over and over and hoping and praying that by some miracle something will sink in.  Einstein may have been smarter than me but at least I learned how to tie my shoes, although I seldom do.
So on this Easter, or Passover, or Vernal Equinox, or Fall for my Aussie friends, to rethink what you are doing in safety and how you are prepared to commit to a renewal of that passion you once felt about Safety and how you will change what you are doing to truly become the change you want to see.  I wish you happiness in life—you only get one and it gets shorter every day.

I am proud to announce that Marriah Publishing is finally doing a hard release (don’t ask me what that means) of  my second book, Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention.  This is all new material that cannot be found anywhere else. And I can now say that it is finally safe to order it (we have corrected the quality control issues and expect to have it out this week). In light of all the talk and panic around gun violence, and the shamefully bad advice some “experts” are giving I hope some of you will read it and pass it along to your executives and HR leads (go ahead, expense it, they will be glad you did.)

It can be purchased in hardcover or paperback at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Of course, my first book is still for sale…

Did you like this post? If so you will probably like my book which can be ordered here I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business or on Barnes & Noble.com.

Did you hate this post? Did it offend you deeply? Maybe you should organize a book burning (minimum of 150 books) but be sure you are only burning my book, I don’t want you to go to a used book store and buy a bunch of cheap books and stack mine on top.

The book is a compilation of blog posts, guest blogs, magazine article (from around the world) and new material. Much of it is hard to find unless you know where to look. A second and third book has already been green-lighted by the publisher (expect fewer reprints and more new material).

In all seriousness, I have been blogging for free (without sponsors or advertising) clearly damned near zero moral support from people who could and do benefit from my notoriety for over 11 years and I think I have earned a bit of revenue so buy a damned book.

5 Facts You Need To Know About Legal Cannabis And Employment

shutterstock_348038528

 

By Phil La Duke
Author, Influencer, Global Business Consultant
Know My Shoes Are Untied Mind Your Own Business
Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence

While many 46 US States have legalized marijuana for medical and even recreational use, there are many misconceptions among cannabis users about their rights and their employers’ right to put restrictions on the use—both on an off the job—drug. Here are some things that you should know before consuming  the drug:

    1. It’s still against the law.  While the States may legalize the drug the Federal Government still classifies it as a Schedule 1 drug—the same category it places heroin and cocaine. Schedule 1 classification is reserved for drugs that are the most dangerous and are not generally viewed as having any medicinal purpose. You may disagree with this, but you still can be prosecuted under federal statutes. As unlikely as that may seem something as simple as crossing state lines with a Schedule 1 drug can be a BIG Federal offense even if cannabis is legal in both states. If you are convicted of a criminal offense you will likely get fired. You may also get fired if your company does business with the government, defense contractors, or customers that forbid its vendors from employing drug users (and there are likely more companies that do than you may realize).

 

  • There’s a lot more in pot than (THC). According to Missy Wilkenson the author of the article What Are the Chemicals In Weed And What They Do  published in Thrillist magazine there are 500 chemicals in cannabis, but what she fails to mention is that the rest of these chemicals haven’t been widely studied or and the long term effects of regular ingestion of these chemicals isn’t known. Companies can ban the use of cannabis for safety reasons and if they DO fire you, your legal remedy (assuming you claim discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) falls under Federal jurisdiction and is likely to fail for obvious reasons.
  • If you grow it the money you make is taxable.  A fair amount of people know that when the government couldn’t nail Al Capone for his daily criminal acts they went after him for tax evasion.  Many people believe Al Capone was an idiot for not paying his taxes, but up until his conviction the general consensus among tax attorneys was that illegal income isn’t taxable; it turns out it is and if you don’t declare your cannabis income on your Federal tax filings you could end up like Al Capone. This may not seem to be directly linked to your workplace, but while many companies have work from home provisions scarce few have “work from a federal penitentiary” program.  
  • Your employer or your customers may still prohibit you from having pot in your system. Even if you have a prescription there are some industries that can and do ban marijuana use even when off work.  Certainly, the Federal Government takes a dim view of illicit drug use (remember as far as Federal Law goes you might as well be smoking crack cocaine) but there are other industries that still ban the drug including Oil & Gas companies, some mining companies, and most defense contractors.  If you are required to submit to random drug tests you likely are not allowed to use cannabis without risking your job. I have heard many people squawk about their employers impinging on their rights but if your company can tell you what to wear, they can most certainly tell you that you can’t get high and since THC remains in your system long after the high subsides you don’t have much hope of beating the drug tests.
  • Driving while under the influence is still illegal. Whether your municipality calls it driving while impaired or driving under the influence of a narcotic if you are stoned (or even buzzed) you could find yourself facing criminal charges.  If you are convicted and your job requires you to drive in the course of your duties, you can be legally and justly fired for such an infraction. And, depending on the circumstances, if you are unfortunate enough to be driving and involved in a fatal car crash when driving while high you could be found criminally negligent or guilty of depraved indifference and may even go to prison. But even if driving while high on cannabis was legal, it slows your reaction time, impairs your judgment, and in general makes you a safety risk and a menace to the people with whom you share the road.

 

Okay, the new book, Lone Gunman Rewriting Workplace Prevention has been out since January, and it’s time to pick up a copy.  I haven’t been pushing it all that hard because owing to a printer’s error it was full of typos that, for once, weren’t mine. Since then every half-wit and snake oil salesmen have pulled together dangerously poor presentations on how to survive workplace violence.  I have attended too many professional development sessions on surviving workplace violence presented by dolts who sound like they are doing a C– fourth-grade book report. If you are a woman, love a woman, were born of a woman, or have wives, sisters, daughters, or mothers who work you should read this book. Or if you are a boss who managed unstable workers you need this book.  Buy an extra copy for your boss. You’ll thank me.

And guess what? My original (in all senses of that word) book I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Business: An Iconclast’s View of Worker Safety   continues to sell well, buy one or better yet two. It is directly related to your job duties so expense them both and give one to your boss.  It will him/her good to hear some unvarnished truth. And at $15 bucks you can’t beat the price. I wanted to do something special, as it is quickly on it’s way to officially being a best seller, so in cooperation with Amazon, I am launching a promotion.  See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: I Know My Shoes Are Untied: Mind Your Own Business!. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/23bf5d1017cdead1 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Apr 17, 2019 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

If you haven’t already picked up a copy of a know my shoes are untied here’s your chance to win one for free

See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: I Know My Shoes Are Untied.: Mind Your Own Business!. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/23bf5d1017cdead1 NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Apr 17, 2019 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.

You Can’t Solve Dynamic Problems Using Static Solutions

By Phil La Duke
Author
I Know My Shoes Are Untied Mind Your Own Business
Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention 

shutterstock_267262451

Have you ever wondered why so many safety people have a bug (or if you prefer a wild hair) up the collective ass of the profession? Okay, that should get the self-righteous puke bags to stop reading.  You can look forward to self-righteous posts of “I couldn’t make it past the first sentence” on LinkedIn. Good. The blog has never been meant for the stuffy, self-aggrandizing dog fornicators who assume that because they only had nine fatalities last year their hands are free of blood.

I just finished a 2900-word article on foot protection, a topic where, in the entire lexicon of the English language there are only 1500 odd words that are interesting on said subject, so my mood is mean and my disposition foul.

Safety is frustrating because it’s like trying to kill a hydra.   Just when you think you have the problem solved, six more rear their ugly heads to take its place. I won’t prattle on about treating the symptoms, although that is certainly often the case, rather I want to talk about the intrinsic frustration of solving a problem only to have some other problems take its place. Certainly, safety isn’t alone in this situation, lots of professions spend their entire career trying to hit a moving target, and at the risk of rankling the zealots, since the environment is always changing—racing to meet the demands and expectations of the stakeholders, our job is never done. So for those of you who have achieved zero injuries and think you have reached the pinnacle of your career, bad news, sustaining it is even harder than achieving it.

The problem is that in any workplace we want to get assignments that end.  Most people hate finishing up a piece of really good work only to find out that the boss, company, or customer is going in a different direction. We like static solutions. We like to build a birdhouse and be done with it (although I gotta tell ya, birds have been building their own houses for years and most couldn’t give a rat’s ass that you’ve made this cute little colonial miniature for them, birds, for the most part, are incredibly ungrateful creatures. If the task can’t end, then we would hope that the experience of performing that task will at least equip us for the next one, but in a dynamic world the rules keep changing so we have to change with it, or ideally a step ahead of it or we will be stuck in the familiar miasma of having someone seriously injured and our mouth-breathing boss looking at us disapprovingly as if—despite him not seeing it coming—we should have anticipated the problem and fixed it before anyone knew it was a problem.  And it’s people like him who won’t spend the money it takes to prevent a horribly gruesome fatality because “we don’t know that is going to happen.”

We get frustrated and glom on to solutions that promise to solve all our problems, unfortunately, the problems we will face in a decade are often completely unpredictable. Asbestos was once an ingredient in children’s pajamas, silica was just thought of sand, and while we can speculate on the harmless substance that will kill us tomorrow, (my money is on bleach, by the way, nothing that destroys DNA can be safe).  

In safety, we are on the front line of change, and change sucks. It’s as if you are in a math class and once things finally start to click they change the Pythagorean Theorem and suddenly nothing makes sense anymore. I’m not crying victim here or giving license for others to either, but for the love of all that is holy, is it too much to expect the Universe to cut us a break once in a while?

Until it does we all just have to suck it up an know no matter how good a job we think we are doing unless we can adapt and joyfully accept the next challenge, we are sunk into a world where we sit around whining, crying, and blaming. And nobody likes a crybaby.

Okay, the new book, Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention has been out since January, and it’s time to pick up a copy.  I haven’t been pushing it all that hard because owing to a printer’s error it was full of typos that for once weren’t mine. Since then every half-wit and snake oil salesmen have pulled together dangerously poor presentations on how to survive workplace violence.  I have attended too many professional development sessions on surviving workplace violence presented by dolts who sound like they are doing a C minus fourth-grade book report. If you are a woman, love a woman, were born of a woman, or have wives, sisters, daughters or mothers who work you should read this book.  Buy an extra copy for your boss. You’ll thank me.

And guess what, my original (in all senses of that word) book I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Business: An Iconoclast’s View of Worker Safety continues to sell well, buy one or better yet two. It is directly related to your job duties so expense them both and give one to your boss.  It will him/her good to hear some unvarnished truth. And at $15 bucks you can’t beat the price.

  #Lone Gunman Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Prevention, #IKnowmyshoesareuntiedmindyourownbusiness.