If you’re truly serious about managing the risks of drugs and alcohol in your workplace, then education must play a key role. This is not just education for employees or shop floor staff, but all people within your organisation.
Drug and alcohol education for employees
Educating employees about the dangers of drugs and alcohol is an obvious requirement, as they are the ones at most risk if they or a work colleague comes to work under the influence. They are at the ‘coal face’ of your business and are exposed to safety risks every day, whether it’s machinery, heights, suspended loads, electricity, hazardous materials, confined spaces or other hazards.
You should ensure your workforce, including employees, contractors and others who may be exposed to risks, are educated about:
- The danger of illicit and pharmaceutical drugs in the workplace.
- The prevalence of drugs and alcohol in the workplace, and in society in general
- Your business’ drug and alcohol policy
- Drug and alcohol testing you conduct.
- What to do if they believe a work colleague is under the influence.
Educating your workforce will help people understand the company’s expectations around drugs and alcohol, and the consequences for doing the wrong thing. It’s not about trying to control what people do in their own time, but helping people make wise decisions about drugs and alcohol.
Drug and alcohol education for management and other staff
Managers and staff should also be provided education about drugs and alcohol. This education will be similar to that provided to employees, so that everyone has the same understanding and knowledge. It will also help management and staff provide leadership in drugs and alcohol.
In addition, those that manage and supervise others need to have a thorough understanding about what they need to do if they suspect someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They’ll need to know about the workplace’s drug and alcohol testing procedures and the reasons to conduct reasonable suspicion testing.
Integrity Sampling’s drugs and alcohol education
As well as conducting drug and alcohol testing, Integrity Sampling provides a range of education and awareness services. This includes education for employees and others on the shop floor, as well as management.
To find out more about our education services, see our drug and alcohol education page or give us a call on 1300 725 482.
Education for professionals
While the education around drugs and alcohol provided by Integrity Sampling is suitable for most people within your organization, for professionals such as OH&S managers and occupational hygienists, more in-depth knowledge may be required.
According to Australian Mining’s Safe To Work, a two-day course conducted by the Australian Institute of Occupation Hygienists (AIOH) is perfect for professionals seeking expert knowledge in the management of illicit drug impacted environments.
The Safe To Work article says the course has relevance for specialists within the mining industry, “…as potential use and contamination in work based environments and accommodation, such as mine sites and FIFO accommodation (fly in fly out) poses a number of public and occupational health risks for both current and future occupants.
You can find out more information about the course on the AIOH website.
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Educating your workforce about drugs and alcohol is vital if your workplace is safety-focussed. Credit Max LaRochelle https://unsplash.com/photos/QzP1GcDOSC8
Secondary image credit Chris Fithall https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfithall/14541082806/