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Do you know the signs that indicate an employee's drunk or drugged at work?

by , 04 September 2013
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 20% to 25% of injuries in the workplace involve employees under the influence of alcohol and drugs. To ensure you minimise these risks in your workplace, lookout for these signs...

Substance abuse is a serious problem.

Not only is it dangerous for your employee, it's also costly for your company.

One way to nip it in the bud is to lookout for signs that indicate your employee is intoxicated and then take appropriate action.

Eleven signs an employee's drunk or drugged

  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).

If your employee shows any of these signs, ask him to take a breathalyzer test, provided you have a policy in place.

What is a breathalyser test?

According to the Health&Safety Advisor, a breathalyser test is used to measure the blood alcohol level of a person by means of a device called a breathalyzer.

This device measures the blood alcohol content (BAC) from the breath of a person. The legal blood alcohol limit is 0.5% or 0.24mg per 1000ml breath.

Remember, it's not only against the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to allow intoxicated employees on the premises, it creates a financial and productivity burden on you.

So make sure you have a breathalyzer policy in place so you can test your employees if they show any of the signs mentioned above. In addition, make it clear that coming to work drunk or drugged is a dismissible offence.
 

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