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Cannabis Growing Operations - Protecting Workers & Plants

Cannabis Protective Clothing

The cannabis industry has quickly grown and become a booming business. While much of the industry’s attention has been rooted in the debate surrounding legalization versus sole use for medicinal purposes, protecting those working in cannabis production seems to have been largely overlooked.

Commercialized growing operations continue to develop and look for the best grow room PPE, including disposable cannabis PPE that protects workers from hazards on the job and protects the plants from particulates that may be carried in with the worker.

Workers in the Cannabis Industry

Growers and extractors are exposed to a variety of safety risks that often mirror those in similar processing and agricultural sectors. Hazards range from biological, chemical, and physical hazards such as elevated noise levels, pressurized equipment, confined spaces, and ultraviolet (UV) light.

Cannabis industry workers can be exposed to hazardous substances including fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides. As a result, it’s important that the correct grow room clothing is worn to protect workers and plants alike. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), using PPE in addition to other controls may be required to limit workers’ grow house hazards in these areas:

Chemical Hazards in the Cannabis Industry

Chemical hazards in the form of fertilizers and other plant nutrients, carbon dioxide, fungicides designed to reduce mold growth, pesticides used to reduce insect populations, and others are widely used throughout the processing and cultivation of cannabis. Exposure via inhalation and/or skin contact can cause respiratory irritation, chemical burns, and skin rashes.

Cannabis Industry Biological Hazards

Biological hazards vary but are often centered around the presence of mold and its health effects. To thrive, cannabis requires that workers increase humidity levels the plants are exposed to. This, in turn, tends to increase the growth of molds which can affect the respiratory system. Additional exposure via the skin and inhalation of cannabis materials, such as resin, can result in some employees experiencing allergic reactions and hypersensitivity in the form of swollen eyes, itchy skin, rashes, and other symptoms.

Physical Hazards in the Cannabis Industry

Physical hazards present within the cannabis industry reflect those used in the extraction and processing of other types of plants. In addition to the effects that pressurized equipment could have on employees, there are often flammable substances involved during the processing of cannabis, as well as cleaning chemicals. Workers could be exposed to explosions, fires, burns, frostbite, and skin rashes.

OSHA and Protecting Cannabis Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that businesses provide their employees with the least hazardous workplace based on controls that are built around the agency's pre-approved hierarchy. Once these steps have been implemented, personal protection equipment (PPE) can be integrated into the workplace if risk remains. For many companies within the cannabis industry, this means using PPE in addition to other controls that are designed to limit workers' exposure to workplace hazards.

SMS protective apparel provides employees with three protective layers, without compromising comfort. In addition to offering a superior barrier against particulates, SMS products are also suitable at protecting workers from spray and light splashes.

MicroGuard MP® has been tested for use with several of today's most commonly found chemicals. Our cannabis industry workwear is designed to provide an excellent barrier between employees and potentially harmful particulates and liquids. This line of grow clothes features an innovative and comfortable suit design that makes it easy to move about freely, stay cool, and to comply with company standards.

MicroGuard MP® also offers lab coats, pants, shoe and boot covers, sleeves, hoods, aprons, and more to meet your safety needs. Whether you need protective, cannabis workwear for growers, harvesters, processors, extractors, labs, or retailers, International Enviroguard has you covered.

Protecting Cannabis Plants

An additional safety element in the cannabis industry involves protecting the integrity of the plants themselves. Since cannabis products are bound for human consumption, there is often a need for protective clothing to reduce the possibility of contamination that can arise at numerous points during the cultivation, production, processing, extraction, and commercial phases. In addition to protective garments worn by employees, other accessories such as shoe covers, bouffant caps, face masks, beard restraints, and gloves must also be included in this product-protection approach.

Meeting OSHA's requirements for employee protection while employed within the cannabis industry is vital to the survival of the companies involved. Ensuring that the products they produce meet the requirements for being free of harmful contaminants is also essential.

International Enviroguard’s Grow Room Clothing

International Enviroguard provides a range of innovative and affordable garments and accessories that are comfortable enough for employees to be motivated to wear them.

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