Why have a Drug & Alcohol testing policy?
The misuse of drugs and alcohol in the workplace can have a highly detrimental effect, not only to the employee themselves and the teams they operate in, but also to the wider organisation.
Whether an employee is in a business or safety critical role, such as one which interacts with members of the public, deals with highly sensitive information or operates a company vehicle, HGV or plant machinery, the impact of an incident due to the effects of drugs and alcohol can be astronomical.
A robust drug and alcohol policy will allow you to effectively manage the risks imposed by substance misuse within the workplace and like other policies operated within your organisation, will outline the commitment to safe working practices. Many employers adopt drug and alcohol testing as part of their policy. Whilst testing is a deterrent, using it alone will never be the complete answer to problems caused by alcohol and drug misuse and should therefore be accompanied by appropriate training, education and support.
Benefits of a Drug & Alcohol policy in the workplace
A robust policy has many advantages, and allows an organisation to both clearly define its stance on drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace as well as the implications if the policy is not adhered to. In doing so, it leaves less room for misunderstanding as the policy clearly defines what happens in a given situation, and thus ensures there are no grey areas.
Operating an effective policy is a proven, low cost strategy, which identifies those needing help, cuts down on accidents and sickness leave, reduces compensation claims, improves attendance and increases productivity within the workplace.
How we can help
As a result of extensive consultation with major trade unions, we have developed a six stage process for the implementation of a successful, welfare based drug and alcohol policy.
- Assess the risk to your organisation from drug and alcohol misuse and evaluate your current resources, attitudes and cultures
- Consult with key stakeholders within your organisation to develop and publicise a corporate drug and alcohol policy
- Develop a programme of awareness and training for all employees and encourage anyone within the organisation with problems to seek help
- Further consult with key stakeholders to develop procedures for testing
- Implement the policy following an amnesty period and arrange focused management training
- Monitoring your policy and procedures using Key Performance Indicators