Providing education to management and employees about drugs and alcohol is an essential component of any robust drug and alcohol management program.
Integrity Sampling’s experienced and knowledgeable consultants can help develop and present education to your employees, contractors and other stakeholders. This education should include regular reminders of your drug and alcohol policies and procedures, as well as general information about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
An effective education program will include:
- Information regarding health and safety implications of the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
- Information illustrating the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in the workplace and in society.
- Provide details of your drugs and alcohol policy, including any testing you carry out and consequences for failing or refusing testing.
Educating your workforce will enable your employees to make informed decisions about drugs and alcohol, helping to ensure they come to work in a safe and fit condition. Education will also help remove misconceptions regarding your policy, procedure and testing program, therefore ensuring greater acceptance of the program among your employees and a smoother workplace implementation.
Why is education about drugs and alcohol so important?
Put simply, drugs and alcohol cost Australian businesses billions of dollars every year. If you’re not managing drugs and alcohol in your workplace, and as part of this educating your people, how much could the issue end up costing you?
Cost in billions per year to Australian businesses due to the impact of drugs and alcohol
Million days lost each year due to alcohol-related absenteeism
Cost in millions per year to Australian businesses from drug-related workplace accidents
Percentage of workplace injuries caused by drugs and alcohol worldwide
What to include in your education program
Educating employees about the issues of drugs and alcohol in the workplace is crucial for maintaining a safe and productive work environment. If you’re going to develop your own education for employees, contractors and other stakeholders, here’s a rundown on the types of things you should cover.
- Clearly explain your company's policies regarding drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Employees should understand what is expected of them, including any consequences for policy violations.
- Many employees don’t understand the potential legal implications they may face if they come to work under the influence, particularly if their actions result in an accident. Safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility and its important employees understand this and know about their duty of care.
- Provide general health information on drug and alcohol abuse. This can include addiction risks, long-term health consequences and the impact on overall well-being.
- Explain how drug and alcohol use can affect job performance, including decreased productivity, absenteeism and increased accidents.
- Emphasise the safety risks of being impaired in the workplace. Discuss how substance abuse can lead to accidents and injuries, not only for the impaired individual but also for co-workers.
- Educate employees on the steps they should take if they suspect a co-worker may be under the influence.
- Encourage employees to be open about substance abuse issues and initiate talks with their supervisor. Assure them that any discussions will be kept confidential and they needn’t fear consequences.
- Provide information on available resources for employees who may be struggling with substance abuse. This can include on-site employee assistance programs as well as support that is available outside of the workplace.
- If your workplace conducts drug testing and alcohol testing, provide details about the testing. Inform people when and why such tests may be conducted and what the process entails. Also, clearly explain your workplace’s consequences for failing testing or refusing testing, as detailed in your policies.
- Regularly update employees on policies, laws and best practices related to drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Ensure they stay informed about any changes that may affect them.
Remember that ongoing education and communication are key to addressing issues of drugs and alcohol in the workplace effectively. Regularly revisit and update your educational programs to ensure they remain relevant and impactful.
Educate management about the risks of drugs and alcohol
Educating employees about drugs and alcohol is important, but don’t forget your managers, supervisors and other staff.
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.
Topical and timely education
While anytime is a good time to educate your workforce about drugs and alcohol, there are times when increasing awareness makes even more sense.
For example, in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year, when many people have more opportunities to socialise, whether it be at a work function or privately. This is an ideal time to remind people that while it’s okay to relax and enjoy themselves, it’s vital they stay safe, and don’t drive or come to work under the influence.
Most employees want to do the right thing and not come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, so it’s important to remind them of the risks. For example, make them aware that it is possible to drink excessively the night before and still have significant quantities of alcohol in their system the next day. The same goes if they’ve recently taken drugs.
Start educating your workforce today
To help protect your workplace from the scourge of drugs and alcohol, it’s important to educate your people as part of an overall management plan.
Integrity Sampling can help you with all aspects of drug and alcohol education, including educating employees, contractors and other people who are exposed to risks within your organisation. We can also provide drug and alcohol education for management, supervisors and other staff.
In addition, Integrity Sampling can assist you with all aspects of managing drugs and alcohol in your workplace This includes:
- Drug and alcohol management, including the development of policies and procedures.
- Workplace drug testing
- Workplace alcohol testing
- The use of medicinal cannabis and prescription drugs in the workplace
- Alcohol and other drug counselling, treatment and support
Contact us today to discuss your needs.