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Should you have a Substance Abuse Policy?

by , 30 July 2013
Substance abuse can take many forms: Drug use, alcoholism and addiction to prescription medication are just a few. No matter what business you run, there may be substance abuse in your workplace. How can you prevent and deal with substance abuse at work? A Substance Abuse Policy is vital. Here's how to go about it...

The Health and Safety Advisor says that every business can benefit from having a Drug-Free Workplace Policy in place.

A Substance Abuse Policy educates your workers about drugs in the workplace. It'll also give you a written procedure to follow if something goes wrong.

Here's what your Drug-Free Workplace Policy should contain…
  1. Rules that forbid the use of substances on company premises. This includes alcohol. You can include an aside for exceptions such as office parties.
  2. Training and awareness material. These can help employees learn about the dangers of substance abuse in the workplace.
  3. Instructions on how to identify substance abuse. You can list common behaviours, physical signs and other identifying factors here.
  4. What to do if someone suspects substance abuse in the workplace. This involves going to a manager first. They will consult with the Occupational Health Practitioner or the HR rep. From there, your company can arrange a drug test. Disciplinary procedures might follow.
  5. The policy on drug and alcohol testing. This can include a pre-employment test as well as random spot checks for current employees.
  6. Details of an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) that will encourage voluntary treatment for substance abuse.
  7. A clause on the search policy. This must give your company the right to search employees while making sure you protect their privacy and dignity.

With a solid Substance Abuse Policy in place, you can deal with any drug-related problems in the workplace.

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