5 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

Drug and alcohol issues in the workplace are becoming more prevalent. Did you know individuals in the workforce are more likely to have consumed alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 12 months than people who are not in the workforce? What does this mean for employers?

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Substance and alcohol abuse at work – what can go wrong?

The impairment that comes from both acute and chronic symptoms of alcohol and illicit drug use could lead to occupational health and safety issues for both the workers who consumed these products and other people they work with.

  • Impaired or altered memory,
  • Poor concentration,
  • Slow reaction times,
  • Dexterity
  • Mood changes

While the above side effects can have detrimental impacts on all job and work levels, it is crucial in high-risk work industries to consider the risks of drug and alcohol effects in the workplace, and determine the effectiveness of implementing a drug and alcohol program.

Workplace drug and alcohol testing:

According to SafeWork Australia,

“A workplace policy on alcohol and drug use should be developed in consultation with all members of the workplace, apply equally to all levels, clearly state what is acceptable behaviour and the consequences of any

unacceptable behaviour and be clearly communicated to all members of the workforce.”

Obviously, convincing employees to make alternating lifestyle choices outside of work can be difficult. Recovery Partners can offer our clients drug and alcohol testing in multiple forms, such as on-the-spot randomised testing and pre-employment testing.

The benefits of drug and alcohol testing:

  • Maintain a physically safe workplace by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries
  • Make aware and educate employees on the dangers of illicit substances and alcohol abuse
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of your workplace
  • Reduce the cost of a bad hire and maintain high calibre workers by stringent pre-employment testing
  • (Find out more here)

We can assess all three aspects of an intensive pre-employment medical assessment (functional capability; mental state; and possible dependence to a prohibited substance).

Rest easy when it comes to hiring staff – contact us to find out more!

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au