none

DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND FITNESS FOR WORK - IDENTIFY THE RISKS

16-08-2017
by 
in 
Drugs and alcohol in the workplace

With drug and alcohol abuse currently estimated to cost Australian industry upwards of $6 billion per year, having a company policy on drugs and alcohol would appear to be a no brainer. But the devil really is in the detail. And while it is one thing to set a policy, it is another to enforce it effectively and fairly.

Rather than imposing a policy along the lines of “Thou shalt not…”, the process needs to start with agreement of all parties. In the words of the Alcohol & Drug Foundation: “Employees that are well informed about the impacts of alcohol and other drug use on the workplace are more aware of the risks and are better able to help maintain effective health and safety practices at work.”

It is also essential that once a policy has been formalised, all parties are fully conversant with the procedures involved and that those procedures are followed to the letter.

Speaking at the recent Safety First event in Melbourne, Natasha Jager, National Manager for Workplace Services at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, detailed instances from several different companies where employees had been terminated for breaches of company drug and alcohol policy yet had their terminations overturned by Fair Work Australia.

Each case was different, but all had one thing in common: the proper procedures were not followed. This illustrates that the educational aspects of bringing in a company drug and alcohol policy must extend to the education of supervisors and management.

Increasingly, companies are beginning to appreciate that it is not a drug and alcohol policy that they need, it is a fitness for work policy. And the sooner that it becomes clear that this is the objective, the easier it is to get all stakeholders to cooperate in its enforcement.

All companies are different, and all will have different job-specific risks that apply to employees who are not in a fit state for work. As a result, there can be no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the problem. However, the common factor is that it is in the identification of the job-specific risks and the full communication of the consequences that acceptance is likely to be found.

Related news & editorials

  1. More than one in six Australians suffers hearing loss, and thanks to an ageing population and more people being exposed to dangerously loud noise, that number is expected to rise in the coming decades.
    22.02.2021
    22.02.2021
    by      In , In
    More than one in six Australians suffers hearing loss, and thanks to an ageing population and more people being exposed to dangerously loud noise, that number is expected to rise in the coming decades.
    The resulting productivity losses, according to recent figures from Australian hearing care and... Read More
  2. The team at PFD Food Services turned to A-Safe to improve their Brisbane warehouse workflow and ensure the products supplied to customers are safe and meet food safety requirements.
    17.02.2021
    17.02.2021
    by      In , In
    Safely moving large palettes on forklifts in tight spaces can be a challenging ordeal. Add in staff and pedestrians to that mix and it increases the likelihood of something going awry.
    That’s why the team at PFD Food Services turned to A-Safe to improve their Brisbane warehouse workflow and ensure... Read More
  3. Absorb’s Spill Kit Service Program was designed to provide comprehensive supply, auditing and management of spill kits across your entire site, ensure your duty of care is maintained and to promote compliance with Environmental Legislation.
    15.02.2021
    15.02.2021
    by      In , In
    A fire extinguisher must be ready at all times – that’s why we get them checked and serviced by a professional.
    Similarly, an environmental spill kit must be ready at all times. When was the last time you had yours checked or serviced by a professional?
    Supporting Australian companies for 25 years... Read More
  4. To prevent the dangerous and expensive practice of side-pulling, Liftco designed and patented the Side Pull Prevention Device, which works on the angle of the side pull of the rope.
    09.02.2021
    09.02.2021
    by      In , In , In
    When it comes to moving heavy objects in warehouses and on worksites, having safe reliable cranes is of prime importance.
    Overhead cranes are designed to raise and lower only in the vertical position. If the side-winding of a load occurs, damage to the crane will result.
    To prevent the dangerous... Read More
Products
Suppliers