How to know if workers are fit for duty

Summit promises to provide tools and knowledge for employers and safety pros

How to know if workers are fit for duty

DriverCheck is set to host its highly anticipated Fitness for Duty Summit on October 18th, promising a wealth of insights and strategies for employers and safety leaders. In an exclusive interview with Dr. Jonathan Davids, the corporate medical director at DriverCheck, Canadian Occupational Safety got a sneak peek into what attendees can expect from this year's event.

The Fitness for Duty Summit has consistently been a hallmark event for health and safety leaders, covering all aspects of workplace health and safety from a unique "keeping workers at work" perspective. This year, the summit takes on added significance as it marks five years since the legalization of cannabis in Canada.

Davids highlighted the complexities employers face when dealing with substances like cannabis, especially considering its potential medical uses.

"We've been working on advising employers on the ins and outs of managing cannabis in the workplace, recognizing that even if something is legal and medically necessary, we must manage it properly to ensure it doesn't cause impairments or safety risks," says Davids.

In a thoughtful response to a question about marijuana use and impairment, Davids emphasized the significance of time as a factor in testing for impairment. He explained that while it is challenging to directly measure impairment, the use of oral fluid testing can help narrow the window of use and provide a better indication of recent use and potential impairment.

The event will delve into various aspects of fitness for duty. Attendees can expect to gain valuable insights into how medications, including cannabis, can impact an individual's ability to work safely.

Fatigue is another critical aspect of workplace safety often overlooked. The summit aims to provide practical approaches for managing fatigue, shedding light on the fact that fatigue can be as impairing as substance use on the job. "Fatigue can have unintended consequences, and it's vital to raise awareness among employees and managers," says Davids.

Regarding the topic of monitoring employee rest cycles outside of work, Davids acknowledged the limitations but stressed the importance of creating awareness and considering factors that may affect employees' sleep patterns.

The psychological health and safety of workplaces will also be a significant point of discussion. While physical safety is crucial, psychological safety can significantly impact productivity and reduce accidents. The summit will highlight the importance of good mental health in the workplace and provide strategies for maintaining a psychologically safe environment.

The 6th annual Fitness for Duty Summit promises even more valuable insights, including a behind-the-scenes look at lab testing for substances, strategies for reintegrating workers after medical absences, and discussions on safety in driving and its relevance to workplace safety.

"We'll provide employers with a holistic view of employee health and well-being, safety, and fitness for work from multiple angles," explains Davids.

With expert insights and practical strategies, attendees can expect to leave better equipped to promote a safer and healthier work environment.