Cannabis related businesses are becoming more common as each state passes some form of legalization. The marijuana industry faces it’s own special set of regulatory concerns due to the Schedule I status of the marijuana plant. While the cannabis industry does have special circumstances and restrictions, it does share commonalities with other traditional business models. One of those commonalities is worker’s compensation laws. All states have some form of worker’s compensation requirement and cannabis related businesses must comply with these requirements like any other business.
Worker’s compensation, often referred to as worker’s comp, is a state-mandated program required by law to make payments to an employee who is injured or disabled in connection with his or her employment. Each individual state has its own individual worker’s compensation insurance program. Not all states require businesses to carry worker’s compensation insurance, but it is an option. The coverage also benefits employers because the coverage insulates businesses from the possibility of paying out large damage awards to injured employees in civil actions. Depending on the state, the employee may be entitled to medical benefits, temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability, permanent total disability benefits, death benefits, and funeral benefits.
The horrific death of Carlos Gabrielli on a Westerleigh construction site should shock us all to the core. His throat slashed by an electrical saw after a slip and fall, he died in an ambulance after his coworkers frantically tried to stanch the bleeding with the shirts off their backs in the immediate aftermath of the gruesome accident.
As the Advance notes in its coverage, this was only the second of three dreadful workplace accidents in Staten Island last week. One day later, a crane collapsed at the construction site of a new Amazon warehouse in Rosebank. One worker’s leg reportedly “snapped in half.” Three days before that, a 25-year-old electrician was knocked unconscious at a construction site in Bloomfield after a small panel explosion exposed him to a 500 volt arc of electricity.
These kinds of workplace accidents, unfortunately, are not rare. On average, 13 workers die on the job every day in this country. Most of these deaths are completely preventable.
The worker’s compensation system allows your employees to be better employees, and if frees you up as the employer from concerns about facing lawsuits brought by injured employees. Even if the employee is negligent and somehow causes their own injury, they are still entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. S2S Insurance will always advocate for employers providing safe working conditions for their employees’ well being and also to help minimize risk for the employer. Accidents do happen at the work place, and when they do, S2S Insurance can have you as an employer prepared with a worker’s compensation insurance policy. If you don’t know your state’s policies regarding worker’s compensation or how your marijuana related business could be impacted, reach out to S2S Insurance and we can help you take a look at your potential risks. “Your insurance specialist should be a key advisor to your business, just as your accountant and your attorney”-Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance.