Workers Compensation InsuranceEmployee Injury

Workers compensation is there to protect employers whose employees may become injured on the job for medical and partial loss of income.  The insurance also helps the employee obtain the care they need in order get back to work in a safe and healthy manner.

This type of insurance is required by law and should not be confused with unemployment insurance.  In most states, the penalties are severe if you don’t have workers compensation insurance along with the opportunity for the injured employee and depends to seek legal remedy against you and your company.  If you need a quote for workers compensation insurance, please contact us to obtain a password to our online application.

Workers compensation is a separate insurance policy.   As soon as you hire your first employee, workers compensation must be purchased.   Depending on the state, the insurance can be obtained through a retail insurance agent or from the state itself if its known as being monopolistic.

How is the premium determined for workers comp?

The payroll, job classifications, and type of industry are the primary factors determining the premium.  The cannabis industry has specialized job classes for those who work at a dispensary or store as opposed to employees who work in a cultivation facility.  A different job classification exists for those working at edibles and concentrates companies. 

Typically, the cost of insurance is more expensive for grow versus dispensary employees due to risk.

Another factor impacting the price of workers compensation is called the experience modification or “emod”.  A historical calculation of your claims h compared with others in the same class of business.  The better your emod results in a premium credit and lower premium.

Types of claims are in the marijuana industry

The most typical types of claims or employee injuries in our experience have been falls, cuts from timing cannabis plants, and variety of back injuries. 

According to Worker Safety and Health in the Marijuana Industry: 2017 conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health below are common jobs, duties and risk associated with cannabis employees. 

Type of JobJob DutiesPotential Risks and Hazards
CultivatorPlanting, transplanting, physically relocating plants, watering, nutrient mixing and feeding, mixing and applying pesticides, cleaning, harvesting plants, drying plantsMold, sensitizers/allergens CO2, CO, pesticides/fungicides, ergonomics, walking/ working surfaces, lighting hazards, chemical exposures
TrimmerTrimming, packaging, shipping, data entry, cleaningMold, sensitizers/allergens, CO2, CO, pesticides, ergonomics, occupational injuries (cuts), chemical exposures, machinery
Extraction TechnicianExtracting marijuana concentratesMachinery, IAQ, allergens, noise, ergonomics, chemical exposures, use of explosive/ flammable chemicals such as butane
Edible producer, infused product confectioner/artisan/chefCooking, baking, packaging, bottling, and labeling marijuana infused productsOccupational injuries (burns), noise, chemicals
BudtenderSales representative who sells marijuana and marijuana products to customersSensitizers/allergens, ergonomics, workplace violence
Laboratory TechnicianOperates laboratory equipment to determine cannabinoid and contaminant concentrationsSolvents, ergonomics
Cultivation (Owner and Operator)In addition to running the business, may oversee and be involved in the functions of the grow operationSensitizers/allergens, mold, CO2, CO, pesticides/fungicides, high pressure machinery, IAQ, noise, chemicals, workplace violence
AdministrativeResponsible for day-to-day operations of the business. May include marketing roles, financial roles, HR roles, retail store managementErgonomics, workplace violence
TransportationMay transport product or money between growing and retail facilitiesOccupational injuries, workplace violence
MaintenanceFacilities maintenance, equipment maintenance, HVACElevated heights, electrical hazards