Drugs & Alcohol

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, Sep 06, 2017

Safety for your coworkers should always be a concern and top priority in your company. Making sure your employees are sober and do not abuse alcohol and drugs should definitely be monitored. It can affect business, customers, day to day operation, and employees’ safety. In this week’s post, we will talk about drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Being in the material handling industry and being around heavy machinery all day - being sober and alert is extremely important. We will go over the affects it has, how to know if someone is abusing, policies to put in place, and how to get someone help.

Effects in the workplace
-Costs employers’ money
-Decreased efficiency and productivity
-Accidents and safety hazards
-Medical claims
-Employee theft
-Disciplinary actions are higher
-Health benefits could go up
-Absenteeism is higher

How to Know If Someone Is Abusing Drugs
-High blood pressure
-Convulsions
-Seizures
-Strokes
-Anxiety
-Depression
-Perception and motor skill problems
-Difficulty with concentrating
-Heart Attack
-Coma, even death

Make a Policy
"Drugfreeworkplace.com" suggests to make a policy. Below is a template they suggest to have in the place:

An effective company substance-abuse prevention policy - especially suitable for small businesses - can be as simple as five sentences:

1) [Company] is committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees and all people who come into contact with its workplace(s) and property, and/or use its products and services.
2) Recognizing that drug and alcohol abuse pose a direct and significant threat to this goal, [Company] is committed to ensuring a substance-free working environment for all of its employees.
3) [Company] therefore strictly prohibits the illicit use, possession, sale, conveyance, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs, intoxicants, or controlled substances in any amount or in any manner.
4) In addition, [Company] strictly prohibits the abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs.
5) Any violation of this policy will result in adverse employment action up to and including dismissal and referral for criminal prosecution.

Get Help
If you know that someone is using drugs or alcohol in your work place, you should tell your managers right away. You can do this privately, or you could do it outside of work to make you feel more comfortable. Do not feel like you are doing something wrong by informing your manager about the abuser. By not telling your higher-ups, you could potentially be risking their life or other co-workers by allowing it to go on. It will help the abuser seek treatment and make the work environment a safer place.

"If you or someone you care about is struggling with an issue related to an addiction to drugs or alcohol, the best thing you can do is to reach out for help by calling 1-888-319-2606 at any time of the day or night, seven days a week. Making the choice to call an addiction helpline is essentially an act of courage." - recovery.org

If you haven't read last week's post on Flood Safety, check it out here

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