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Do you know how to test your employees for alcohol abuse?

by , 06 March 2015
Current information shows that in South Africa, employees are the main beneficiaries of legislation that provides for health and safety standards in the workplace.

The law that governs general workplace safety is the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1993 (OHSA) and, in the Mining Industry, safety is governed by the Mine Health and Safety Act.

It has been showed that over R240 billion, the equivalent to 10% of South Africa's GDP, is the amount of money the country loses due to alcohol abuse each year.

Do you test your employees for alcohol abuses? After all, being drunk at work puts you and your company at risk of:

- workplace incidents that could cost lives
- absenteeism
- leave abuse or fraudulent leave
- reduced productivity
- lack of motivation
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The OHSA states that you should formulate policies that will ensure that employees work in safe conditions that do not threaten their health in any way!

Your company policies relating to health and safety will always have as an objective to create and ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

That's why your company should consider providing employees with voluntary alcohol testing. Some companies, depending on the field of work, test all employees entering their place of work.

Note that, for instance, in industries like mining, manufacturing plants that use heavy machinery, maritime and the transport space, alcohol testing is usually mandatory and for this action they will use breathalysers.

 Transportation companies also usually opt for a breathalyser to be installed so they can test drivers before they start the vehicle.

Train and educate your employees about substance abuse because each action taken under the influence of such substances put more than just one person at risk! And consider putting a policy in place that will let you test employees if you think they're abusing alcohol at work.

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