Workplaces have a duty to take reasonable care of the health, safety and welfare of all workers (including yourself), contractors, volunteers, clients, customers and visitors.
Workplace conditions can increase workers’ alcohol or drug use and impact their physical and mental wellbeing and work performance. As such, workplaces are responsible for:
NCETA’s WorkLife resources and other materials can help your workplace identify and implement appropriate responses to alcohol- and drug-related issues.
Workplace environments can contribute to risky alcohol or drug use. Organisational change may help the way your workplace views and responds to risky alcohol and drug use and its impact on workplace health and safety. It is an important first step in creating and maintaining a safe workplace culture. In doing so, it’s important to recognise that this all takes time and ongoing commitment from everyone in the workplace.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that, as far as reasonably practical, their workplaces are not exposed to alcohol- and drug-related risks. A risk assessment will help you identify your workplace demographics, alcohol and drug availability, current alcohol and drug strategies and contributory or protective workplace factors.
Alcohol and drug policies are central to your workplace health and safety strategy. They help identify and target factors that contribute to workers’ alcohol and drug use, reduce workplace risk and improve health, safety and wellbeing. Your alcohol and drug policy should be developed in consultation with all workers.
An Alcohol and Drug Policy is also identified as one of the 10 Essential Workplace Policies that all small businesses should have.
The most effective policies are evidence-based, proactive, comprehensive, applied to the whole workplace and inclusive and restorative (i.e. with the aim of getting workers back to work).
We introduced it into our quality system and it is to be delivered to each and every apprentice.
Workplace alcohol and drug testing can be used to detect alcohol and / or drug use. When implemented as part of a comprehensive alcohol and drug policy, testing can improve awareness of workplace risks and where to get help for problematic alcohol and drug use.
While testing may be useful it also has limitations. Alcohol tests can identify impairment, but drug tests can only detect prior use, not impairment.
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