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You can't force your employees to take a drug test! But you CAN keep drugs out of your workplace...

by , 29 July 2013
Drugs in the workplace are never a good thing - but even if you have random drug searches and random drug testing in an employee's contract, you can't actually force them to take a drug test. They have the right to refuse. Here's how to keep drugs out of your business and handle drug situations without violating your employee's rights...

Dealing with drugs in the workplace is unpleasant, to say the least. It's hard to think that one of your valued workers has a substance abuse problem. Drugs in the workplace affect your business negatively, but your employees have rights too.

If you suspect your employee is on drugs, you can't force him to take a drug test

According to the Health and Safety Advisor, your employee has the right to refuse a drug test. Make sure random drug testing and random searches are a condition of employment. This protects both you and your business.

Having a proper Occupational Health and Safety Policy will protect you

If you have a solid Occupational Health and Safety Policy, you can protect your business from the hazards of drugs in the workplace.

First, establish good grounds to ask your employee to take a drug test. If he refuses to take one, you can take disciplinary action against him.

You have a duty to keep your workplace drug-free

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) says that intoxicated employees pose a threat to themselves and those around them. You (and all your employees) have a duty to speak up if you suspect there is someone on drugs at work.

If someone lets you know that they suspect drug use in the workplace, you can't just brush it off. If you don't act, you'll contravene Section 14 of General Safety Regulation 2(A) 3. You'll be liable for a R50 000 fine.

So do the right thing, and work to keep your workplace drug-free and safe.

Turn to chapter D01 of your Health and Safety Advisor to get a drug-free workplace policy. 

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