The Importance of a Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy
Drug and alcohol use can be a significant risk factor in the workplace, affecting the safety, productivity, and well-being of employees, contractors and visitors . Therefore, it is essential for companies to implement a drug and alcohol policy and procedure that promotes a safe and healthy work environment.
A workplace drug and alcohol policy and procedure sets the standards and expectations for employees, contractors and visitors behaviour in regards to drug and alcohol use, and outlines the consequences of non-compliance.
A well-implemented policy and procedures, can help to prevent accidents, maintain productivity and employee attendance, protect the company from liability, and support employees who may be struggling with substance consumption issues.
Checklist of Key Points to Include in a Drug and Alcohol Policy & Procedures:
When creating a drug and alcohol policy and procedure, it is important to ensure that it covers all necessary areas. Here is a checklist of key points that should be included in the policy:
- Statement of purpose: The policy and procedure should clearly state the purpose of the policy and procedure and its objectives.
- Scope of the policy and procedure: The policy and procedure should define who is covered under the policy and procedure , including employees, contractors, visitors.
- Prohibited behaviour: The policy and procedure should clearly state what behaviour is prohibited, including the use, manufacture, possession, sale, or distribution of drugs or alcohol.
- Consequences of non-compliance: The policy and procedure should outline the consequences of violating the policy and procedure, including disciplinary action, termination, and referral to support programs.
- Testing procedures: The policy and procedure should specify who, when and how drug and alcohol testing will be conducted.
Clarity is required around reasons for testing. This may include random selection, whole group or division, cause or suspicion, pre employment, near miss or incident.
- Management: Education and training for Managers and supervisors on drug awareness and what, how and when they are involved in applying the policy.
- Confidentiality: The policy and procedure should address confidentiality concerns related to testing results and medical information.
- Employee assistance programs: The policy should provide information on available resources for employees who may be struggling with substance consumption issues.
- Training: The policy and procedure should outline the training program for employees on the policies and procedures content, and the importance working towards the drug and alcohol cut-off’s listed in the procedures.
- Review and update: The policy and procedures should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains effective and relevant.
Employee Education, Understanding, and Acceptance of the Policy and Procedures
It is important to educate employees about the drug and alcohol policy and procedures to ensure that they understand its importance and implications. Employee education should include training on the policy, and the procedures, including the consequences of non-compliance, and available support programs. By understanding the policy and procedure, employees can make informed decisions and take responsibility for their actions.
Employee acceptance of the policy and procedures can be achieved by involving employees in the development of the policy and procedures. This will help to ensure practicality, relevance, and employee acceptance.
Providing opportunities for feedback, such as representative groups, employee surveys or focus groups, can provide valuable input, acceptance and effectiveness on the policy and procedure’s effectiveness.
Drug awareness training for the workplace is valuable piece for the employees who may not be aware of the implications of medications and the potential impact on their ability to safely conduct their work, or the impact on the safety of others.
It is important to clarify who is covered under the drug and alcohol policy and procedure , including employees, contractors, and visitors. Contractors and visitors should be made aware of the policy and procedures content and consequences, and should be required to comply with the policy and procedure while on company premises.
A workplace drug and alcohol policy and procedure is an essential tool for promoting a safe and healthy and productive work environment. By establishing clear standards and expectations for behaviour, providing consequences for non-compliance, and offering support programs, companies can protect employees and their business.
The policy and procedure effectiveness depends on supervisor, and employee education, understanding, and acceptance, as well as clear communication of who is covered under the policy and procedure . Companies should regularly review and update the policy and procedure to ensure that it remains effective and relevant.