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Labour HR16

Did your employee show up drunk for work...again?

by , 12 March 2013
In this issue:

• 11 Signs your employee's drunk

• Are you responsible for compiling your SHE file?

• Include these 5 points in your breathalyser policy

Dear Health and Safety Reader,

Has Sipho shown up drunk at work again? Were you forced to send him home because he couldn't keep his eyes open and posed a risk to himself and other employees working on the guillotine?

Did you know:

•    Employees with alcohol dependence problems claim compensation FIVE times more than other employees; or that
•    Up to 25% of injuries in the workplace involve employees under the influence of alcohol?

This could cost you thousands, maybe even millions in loss of production time and compensation claims in case of an accident.

But, how can you tell if your employee's drunk?

Let's take a look...


EVERY incident and injury must be reported

No matter how big or small the incident/injury or accident is, it must be reported.

Make it every supervisor and managers responsibility. It doesn't have to be a stressful experience.

Use our Incident/Injury Report Form to make sure ALL the details are reported and recorded. It also includes an Investigation Checklist to complete with each person involved in the accident.

But only when you order the Health and Safety Advisor


11 Signs your employee's drunk

1.    Bloodshot eyes;
2.    Slurred speech;
3.    The smell of alcohol on his breath;
4.    Unsteadiness on his feet;
5.    Excessive sweating;
6.    Excessive thirst;
7.    Dishevelled appearance;
8.    Aggressive, abusive, arrogant or out of character behaviour;
9.    Continuous or hilarious laughing or giggling for no reason;
10.    Staring fixedly at one particular thing and seldom blinking; and
11.    Movements that are jerky, or repetitive (hands, feet etc.).

Being drunk at work constitutes misconduct. Your employee can be dismissed. But, you must have  a company policy in place. This policy must be communicated to all employees and regulate the consumption of alcohol on and off the company premises. It must also include your test procedure for establishing if they're drunk, (i.e. a breathalyser test for alcohol) and disciplinary procedures if they fail the test. Your policy should also state that circumstantial evidence will be considered as well (such as the symptoms mentioned above).

Here's what you should include...


Are you responsible for compiling your SHE file?

Are you struggling to keep up-to-date with all the paperwork?

Do you waste your time formatting all the documents?

Are you stressed out about all your legal requirements?

Of course you are. You have enough on your plate already, and keeping up with paperwork isn't on the top of your to-do list. But unfortunately, it's part of your job because it's a legal requirement. And, you've answered 'YES' to at least half of the questions above.

Click here and get your SHE file sorted, once and for all.


Include these 5 points in your breathalyser policy

Clearly outline how your company intends to deal with drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Make sure your policy is clear and ensure it's easy to understand:

1.    Provide a statement of the purpose and objectives of the programme;

2.    Define what alcohol abuse is and state that you have a 'Zero tolerance' policy for alcohol use at work. For example, if your employee's found under the influence of alcohol but only tested 0,049, he's under the legal limit (0,5% or 0,24 mg per 1000ml breath).

But if you believe he's a risk in your workplace, then you have the right, according to your policy, to not allow your employee in the workplace and take disciplinary action against that employee;

3.    The relevant legislation must be included in the policy (Regulation 2A of the General Safety Regulations);

4.    Indicate who's covered by the policy and/or programme (e.g. employees and contractors); and

5.    Include a section on what your employee's rights are.

There are five other things you must include in your breathalyser policy. Find out what they are in Chapter B03 on Breathalyser testing in the Health and Safety Advisor.

Click here now to get your copy!

Until next time,

Stay safe.

Kerusha Narothan
Product Manager: Health and Safety Advisor

P.S. Find out how to carry out your breathalyser test in 9 steps with the Health and Safety Advisor.

Author: Kerusha Narothan

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