Employers and Work Environment and Alcohol

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Employee drug and alcohol misuse or abuse is a problem worldwide. National and international organizations– such as the World Health Organization; the Occupational Safety & Health Offices (of the U.S., UK, Canada, etc.); and the International Labor Office (ILO)— recognize the extent of the problem, its negative impact on business and industry, and emphasize the need for drug-free workplace programs.

Employee Drug and Alcohol Misuse or Abuse

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Employee drug and alcohol misuse or abuse can cause health, safety and productivity hazards within your company. Consequences can include:

* Higher costs:
– For recruitment and training (if need for employee termination)
– from absenteeism
– from impaired productivity
– from workers’ compensation claims
* Interpersonal conflicts
* Violence in the workplace
* Increased risk of accidents caused by impaired judgment
* Lower employee morale
* Deterioration of job performance
* A damaged company reputation
* Increased personnel turnover

Benefits of a Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace

Benefits of a drug and alcohol free workplace include:

* assisting employees
* preventing accidents
* protecting your business and bottom-line profits
* safeguarding the health and safety of all workers
* improving productivity, efficiency, and workplace morale
* complying with laws and regulations (as applicable)
* reducing use of medical benefits

What You Can Do To Have A Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace

It is vital for all businesses to have a drug-free environment for workforce health and safety, and to ensure that the company’s reputation, integrity, and productivity remain at an optimal level of quality.

Things you can do:

* Have a written policy for maintaining a drug and alcohol free workplace. Your policy should: (a) clearly state why the policy is being implemented, (b) describe what behaviors are prohibited, and (c) explain the consequences of policy violation.
* Have a drug and alcohol free workplace education and training program
* Have a system in place for assisting employees with a drug and/or alcohol problem
* You may also choose to implement a drug testing program

For more information about implementing a drug and alcohol free workplace program, visit the Drug Free Workplace website of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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