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How to avoid the largest risks of workplace Drug and Alcohol policies

The Australian workplace statistics on drugs and alcohol use is alarming.

Testing of drugs and alcohol is becoming a common and accepted part of work for many industries.

Drugs and Alcohol in the Australian workplace

Businesses want to protect themselves and their employees from the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse at work. This is an important issue that needs to be managed carefully, not only for the immediate health and safety of employees but also to protect employers from dangerous and costly workplace accidents, unfair dismissal claims and brand damage.

Whilst employers have the best of intentions, without a strong drug & alcohol management policy, the business could be let down if the execution is poor and the workers are not educated on the program.

Find out what the most common drawbacks in drug and alcohol policy and procedures are click here.

A great case study example to learn from is Cannon v Poultry Harvesting, where the employer lost an unfair dismissal claim, despite having a drug and alcohol management policy in place with a drunken worker on the job.

Read the case file here.

In summary, it is important for the business to have:

  • A robust drug and alcohol policy
  • All workers are to have a clear understanding of the policy and procedures standards
  • The policy needs to be fair and reasonable
  • Education and continuous training of the policy for all new and existing employees
  • Consistency of procedures and actions

Is your business is at risk? Here are some questions to answer:

  • Would your business drug and alcohol policy stand up to inspection?
  • Does your procedure clearly outline what to do if the above case study occurred in your workplace?
  • Do your employees really understand what is expected of them in relation to drugs and alcohol at work?

Don’t jeopardize your business with a frail drug and alcohol policy.



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