In a settlement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Massachusetts cannabis company Trulieve will pay a $14,502 fine over the death of Lorna McMurrey, a worker at the company’s Holyoke facility who died in early 2022.
In their report following the incident, OSHA said McMurrey, 27, died after inhaling “ground cannabis dust” while filling pre-rolls.
In a Dec. 22, 2022 press release, Trulieve described the agreement with OSHA as “voluntary.” Initially, Trulieve was fined $35,219. Under the agreement, OSHA withdrew two of the “serious” items in the citation, including items involving having a “safety data sheet” and providing training under OSHA’s hazard communication standard. The remaining citation, identifying the standard for listing “hazardous chemicals,” was replaced with a citation about conducting a hazard analysis.
Additionally, Trulieve will evaluate a series of actions that may include:
- Engaging a health professional to develop a program that gives workers guidance on how to manage potential health impacts resulting from potential reactions to ground cannabis dust.
- Making employees more aware of job transfer options, if available.
- Making permanent the temporary information and training program.
- Investigating options to better limit access and exposure to the areas where commercial grinding of cannabis occurs.
- Establishing policies that increase the presence of workers available who are trained in first aid.
In a statement, Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers said the company is “pleased” to have entered into the agreement with OSHA.
“We are proud of the many protections we have already put in place for our workers. However, as an industry leader in what is still a relatively new manufacturing business, we want to continue to establish best practices, so our workers can have the health and safety assurances they need.” — Rivers in a statement
The agreement will also require Trulieve to conduct a study to determine whether ground cannabis dust is required to be classified as a “hazardous chemical” in the occupational setting, according to OSHA regulations. Work on the study is to be completed by May 29, 2023.
“Increased-scale manufacturing in our industry is a relatively new endeavor,” Rivers said, “and we are determined to continually ask questions and seek answers to make our workplace the safest and healthiest it can possibly be.”
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