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Five key areas to address in your drug and alcohol policy to protect your employees and your company

by , 14 April 2015
If you don't have a drug and alcohol policy, you're breaking the OHS Act!

And your employees are at risk of having a serious accident if they work under the influence.

Don't let your employees' negligence put your business on the wrong side of the DoL.

Read on to find out what key areas you should include in your drug and alcohol policy to protect your employees and your business from penalties!

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The five key areas you need to address

1. The wording of your policy
The wording of the policy is important. It should be clear and easy to understand. So clearly outline how your company intends to deal with drug and alcohol issues. If you need to use your policy for a disciplinary procedure, you need to make sure that there are no loopholes that could catch you out on!

2. How it's communicated
You must communicate the policy in a supportive way. And at the same time clearly detailing procedures. If drug and alcohol testing is going to be a compulsory part of your policy, you need to say so. It's also a good idea to get each employee to sign the document and save it in their personnel file.

3. Who it should apply to
Your policy should apply to all employees. Substance abuse problems don't limit themselves to certain employees! The last thing you need is an employee accusing you of unfairness. So apply your policy to everyone. From top management right down to the labourers in the factory.

4. Confidentiality
You must address the issue of privacy in your policy. You must include this to protect your employees' rights. You might be held liable for bad treatment if your employee's substance abuse problem leaks out.

5. Monitoring
You need to look at monitoring and reviewing your policy at least once a year. It'd be a good idea to include this as part of your risk assessment.

Substance abuse can lead to health and safety problems.  It affects your employees and your company. And gives rise to increased costs and lower productivity.

By taking these five areas into account, you'll be able to more effectively manage these risks and protect your business and employees.

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