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Workplace Health | Week 2 - Drugs

Workplace Health | Week 2 - Drugs

Friday 21st February 2020
Lewis Fletcher

Drugs at Work

As an employer you have a legal duty to protect your employee's health, safety and welfare. By understanding the signs of someone misusing drugs and alcohol you will be able to manage health and safety risks within your workplace and be able to develop a policy which deals with drug and alcohol related problems whilst supporting your employees.

What are the issues and what should you be looking out for?

First of all, it is key to note that the words misuse and dependence do not mean the same thing so therefore should not be confused. When drugs and alcohol are misused it is the use of illegal drugs and the misuse of alcohol, medicines and substances such as solvents. To be dependent on drugs means that someone relies on them or is controlled by them.
What are the warning signs that someone could be misusing drugs or alcohol?
- If you notice unexplained or frequent absences of someone.
- If there is a change in the persons behaviour.
- If there are any unexplained dips in the persons productivity.
- If there is an increase or more accidents or near-misses related to someone.
- Any performance or conduct issues the person may be having.
It should definitely be noted that these can also be signs of other things, like stress or illness.

By successfully tackling drug misuse in the workplace both your business and employees can benefit by...

- Saving on both the time and cost that it would take for the training and the recruiting of new employees to replace those that may be terminated due to reducing the cost of absenteeism or impaired productivity.
- Creating an environment which is more productive by offering support to those employees who have declared having a drug related problem. In turn, this will improve employee morale.
- The risk of accidents that are caused by impaired judgement will be significantly reduced.
- The public's perception of your organisation as a responsible employer will be enhanced.
- You will be contributing to society's efforts to combat drug misuse.