Anglia Ruskin University
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Marijuana use within the construction workforce: theoretical considerations and a research proposal

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-08-30, 14:45 authored by Fred Sherratt, Matthew Hallowell, Marzia Hoque Tania
Alcohol and recreational drug use in construction is an area of growing concern, workers often found to have higher prevalence of such behaviours than those in other industries at both global and national levels. Potential reasons for this are many. The social determinants of health (the reasons why people drink or take recreational drugs) negatively associated with work can be readily identified in construction work with temporary contracts, long working hours and a lack of employment security for work within high-pressure and high-hazard environments. The legalisation of marijuana in several states of America has led to concerns from industry that there will be an increase in use amongst the local workforce, but also created the opportunity to study this phenomenon without ethical constraints around legality that may occur in other countries. This paper, presented for discussion rather than the dissemination of completed work, explores the theoretical issues that surround marijuana use within construction, focusing on its impact on construction site safety. This includes necessary considerations of accident causality, worker impairment and physiological issues around the drug itself, as well as inherent problems with drug testing, and its effectiveness as a means of management control. This critical contextual review has been used to inform the development and proposal of a methodological approach to effectively examine this phenomenon empirically in the field, as part of a future research project to be undertaken in Colorado, USA.


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Central University of Technology

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Bloemfontein, South Africa



Conference proceeding

Conference proceedings: Joint CIB W099 and TG59 International Safety, Health, and People in Construction Conference: Towards better Safety, Health, Wellbeing, and Life in Construction

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Joint CIB W099 and TG59 International Safety, Health, and People in Construction Conference


Cape Town, South Africa

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  • Accepted version


  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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