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Are you SURE your alcohol policy is in line with your company's needs?

by , 31 October 2013
Alcohol abuse is all too common in the workplace. Fortunately, having an alcohol policy is the first step if you want to eliminate the problem. That's why you need to ensure your alcohol policy suits your company's needs.

Having an alcohol policy isn't enough; you have to ensure it meets your company's needs.

Here's why you must tailor your alcohol policy to your company's needs

The Health & Safety Advisor says your alcohol policy must be tailored to suit your company as there's no standard policy.

For example, you need one set of rules for employees involved in hazardous work (truck drivers, machine or equipment operators, fork truck operators and crane drivers.

The acceptable level of blood alcohol for these employees would be a much lower level than would be acceptable in an office worker.

Here's another example: An airline pilot who drinks any alcohol at all in the 24 hour period preceding his next flight isn't allowed to carry out his duties. The reason for this is that he controls an aircraft that's full of passengers. If he's drunk, he's putting the lives of these people at risk.

Keep in mind that if, say, a truck driver arrives at work smelling of alcohol and you allow him to drive and he kills somebody in an accident, you could be held liable because you gave him permission to drive.

On the other hand, an office worker who arrives at work smelling of liquor isn't endangering life by sitting at his desk and working.

But if a security guard is caught sleeping on duty due to alcohol consumption, the circumstances are different and dismissal would is justified. This is because he needs to be alert and sober to carry out his duties.

The point here is that your alcohol policy can discriminate fairly between the rules for one class of employee and another class of employee.

That's why you must tailor it according to your company's needs. This way, it'll be more effective.

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