As the cannabis industry evolves, it faces the hurdles of becoming as regulated as any other industry. Along with its own unique challenges (made no easier by federal law), it has to thrive while protecting workers. Home growing is relatively simple, but on a large-scale cannabis production can take a toll on workers bodies, and also on profits.
Ergonomics, also known as human engineering, is Latin for “work laws.” It is the science of designing and arranging working environments so a person can perform their work tasks more comfortably, safely and easily, and therefore more efficiently. When addressed in advance, Ergonomics makes perfect sense.
For businesses, it’s not only the right thing to do for their employees, it’s a very wise investment in fact. Studies show that for every dollar spent toward ergonomic prevention, the ROI ranges from $3 to $15.
Protecting yourself and your workers will earn you money. Or, pay on the back end, your choice.
The cannabis industry, even though it remains federally illegal, is still accountable for federal compliance in OSHA regulations, and OSHA has stepped up its involvement in the industry.
Now OSHA, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, states that employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. This includes minimizing the damage to the body caused by repetitive tasks, like trimming, among other things.
The body pains of trimming
Bud trimmers on a commercial scale, or at home, sit all day, hunched over a table or something on the floor or on their lap, removing leaves from the cannabis flower to prepare them for packaging and sale.
It’s an important phase of production, it is a skill, and it has a huge effect on the presentation and value of the finished product.
Like office workers who sit in front of a computer all day typing in awkward postures, the strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the skeleton can accrue over time causing long term issues.
With OSHA’s involvement in the industry, failure to provide workers with the safety and comfort equipment they need can result in heavy fines for cannabis businesses.
The injuries brewing are predictable, and we’re at a perfect time to prevent them. But with a brand new field, with unique requirements, how will companies provide what doesn’t exist?
ErGrow is the first company to comprehensively address ergonomics in the cannabis horticulture industry. By doing so, they increase both productivity and safety by focusing on risk factors and efficiency. ErGrow addresses the human factor, and they come from experience.
For instance, while trimming, instead of leaning and reaching forward, the Comfort Trim bag that Ergrow designed lets you recline and kick back into a comfortable, supported posture, or stand up and move about, while your work stays with you, close to your body and in optimal position, always.
The Comfort Trim bag is an indoor/outdoor harvest bag with a lid that flips up to act as a bib to protect clothing and direct trimmings into the bag.
A comfortable worker performs better, and ErGrow knows this.
Design and comfort, in the bag
ErGrow founder Brian Ritchie consulted on computer workstation ergonomics for fifteen years in corporate and medical settings, working through the solutions, after which he turned his attention to cannabis production.
He rolled up his own sleeves to perform these jobs himself and worked out the product solutions in advance. The Comfort Trim bag is just one example, this patent-pending design is a result of his own pains to his body while trimming.
The Comfort Trim bag is perfect for anyone, amateur or professional, who wants to work without the strain on their spine, neck, shoulders or wrists.
Ergrow then took it a step further by designing a nesting filter which lines the bag and filters kief for easy access. Simply insert a plastic liner to comply with seed-to-sale purity standards, preventing cross-contamination of strains.
Up and Coming
ErGrow is turning heads not just in the cannabis world, but agriculture in general. They started with simple products to help workers, but have a big vision.
Further, ErGrow hopes to change the world with their newly-announced horticulture efficiency systems, which they’ve named GROWTH.
ErGrow plans to scale quickly and bring the best of indoor gardening technology, and vertical, modular design to the world.
Brian thanks the cannabis industry for inspiring horticulture technology, and ErGrow will be unveiling more breakthroughs soon. A few applications of their designs range from:
- Cannabis growing operations
- Vertical gardening systems
- Urban indoor community gardening
- Options for people with disabilities
- Disaster relief, refugee assistance, and Third World needs
You can get your own ErGrow Comfort Trim bag here. Or you can follow their groundbreaking advances on Facebook or Instagram.