Christmas and New Year is a great time for those of us who celebrate these festive occasions, but for business owners and managers it’s also a time of trepidation. That’s because it’s the time of the year when people are more likely to attend parties and socialise and, knowingly or unknowingly, attend work under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
So how can you protect your business this Festive Season?
- Most importantly, don’t just cross your fingers or put your head in the sand. Having a drug and alcohol management plan and strategies in place to protect your business from employees who work while under the influence is the first step you should take.
- Implement drug and alcohol testing in your workplace, including random drug and alcohol testing. If your employees spend their time out on the road, such as salespeople and delivery drivers, testing will need to extend outside the plant boundaries.
- Educate your employees. Most employees want to do the right thing and wouldn’t knowingly come to work under the influence, so provide education about such topics as how long drugs and alcohol can stay in the system. Also educate employees about your drug and alcohol management plan and your testing program.
- Remind your employees that like employers, they have a duty of care when it comes to occupational health and safety. This includes taking reasonable care of the health and safety of others.
- Provide support and counselling for employees who are having issues dealing with drugs or alcohol.
- Have a structured disciplinary procedure in place for anyone who is caught under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work.