Skip to main content

Alcohol and drugs in the workplace. How to act in this situation?

Addressing the use of substances of abuse in workers involves multiple obstacles, which are not easy to manage.  It is clear that if a worker uses drugs more or less regularly, even outside of working hours, it will end up affecting the workplace.

According to various studies, workers who consume alcohol and other drugs:

  • They present absenteeism 2 to 3 times higher
  • Sick leave has a cost 3 times higher
  • 20-25% of workplace accidents occur in workers who are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.


Actions at the level of the Prevention Law and Regulation of Prevention Services

alcohol and drugs testing

At the level of the prevention law, article 22 regulates Individual Health Surveillance.

This Health Surveillance must be oriented to the Specific Risks of the workplace to detect, whenever possible, damage to health early. These assessed risks are those indicated in the corresponding Workplace Health and SafetyAssessment.

This Health Surveillance is voluntary in general, requiring the consent of the worker; and in the three compulsory cases, it will be after a report from the workers' representatives.

Health exams will be Initial to risk exposure, periodic, and after prolonged absence for health reasons. Neither the Prevention Law nor the Prevention Services Regulations contemplate the possibility of conducting health examinations prior to hiring.

The tests to be carried out will be the essential ones to be able to carry out a health surveillance oriented to the specific risks.

The information obtained will be strictly confidential and restricted; and it can never be used for discriminatory purposes for the worker.

Prevention and detection of substances of abuse

Although, as we have already said, the consumption of alcohol and drugs is a real problem in companies, the AU member states do not have specific laws or regulations to address this problem in companies.

The only justification for conducting drug studies on workers would be within the framework of a Preventive Program, which involves the participation of some representatives, and managed by the company's Medical Services, or you can contact Hayden Health & Safety testing services.

workplace drug and alcohol testing

Only after agreement in the Health and Safety Committee, and with the implementation of a written Preventive Program, agreed upon and approved by all parties, would such an intervention be possible.

Thus, the preventive program must go beyond a simple drug detection, and all this with an informed consent in all details by the worker.

In this sense, for example, in Australia, in 2002 the agreement for the prevention and treatment of drug addiction in the workplace was signed, which highlights:

  • The main purpose of the diagnostic process must be early therapeutic support for people who need it. This process must be known and accepted voluntarily by users, and must respect the confidentiality requirements established in the prevention law
  • Any intervention in the workplace, be it preventive or care, must be done in collaboration with the social partners, and with due guarantees of confidentiality.

Therefore, the elaboration of drug use detection processes will be considered inadmissible without first agreeing with unions and employers on the scope of application, the parameters on which it must be circumscribed, and the procedure and effects thereof.

In addition, behind any study of this type, there should be a treatment and rehabilitation program, since, as the Convention indicates, the diagnostic process is aimed at the therapeutic process.

Other Additional Considerations: Detection Methods

The number of different drugs of abuse that an individual can consume is very high.

The most widely used method for drug detection in the determination of the most common drugs in urine (cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, cannabis), leaving many undetermined with routine systems.

Urinary tests are qualitative, not quantitative. That is, they only indicate consumption. They do not translate Abuse, Dependence or Degree of Toxic Affection.

alcohol and drugs in workplace

Thus, a positive result will not allow us to indicate if it affects your work capacity, or if you were under the effects of the poison during the working day.

Another problem with these tests is false positives. Thus, by way of example, a cough suppressant containing codeine can test positive for Opiates, or the use of anti-inflammatories containing ibuprofen can give false positives for cannabis.

On the contrary, negative test results would only show the absence of consumption in the previous days.

Contact Hayden Health & Safety today to book in your testing or to arrange for a testing representative to visit your site to discuss a testing plan tailored to your safety requirements.

We also offer interest free payment plans for companies who conduct over 60 tests each year (any combination – Hearing, D&A or Spiro) 


Popular posts from this blog

Your Pink Diamond Buying Guide

When choosing a colored diamond, there is a lot to consider, from the color itself to whether it has been treated or natural. You also have to consider supply and demand. When it comes to pink diamonds, they are considered one of the rarest and highly sought after diamonds, especially since they are used in engagement rings. This makes them an emotional purchase. Pink diamonds are also used in other settings such as earrings and necklaces, but they do not have the same impact as a pink diamond engagement ring .   Diamond classification by the GIA In white or colorless diamonds, the GIA or Gemological Institute of America, grades that is based on the carat, cut, clarity and color of the diamond. For colored diamonds, they base their prices on the depth of the color. An elegant pink diamond will cost less than a vivid pink one. While there is no formula to determine how much more it would cost, the intensity of the color is the most important factor in determining the value of colore

The pros and cons of using metal roofs for your home

Whether you're buying a home with a metal roof or considering installing it, here's what you need to know. Whether you're roofing a brand new home or your current roof requires renovation, there are many roofing materials on a wholesale price available. But regardless of what roof style you have, metal roofs can be an attractive option due to their longevity, minimal maintenance. And energy efficiency. When it comes to materials, options include steel (galvanized, galvalume, or corten), aluminum, copper, zinc, and tin. Visit Sydney Roof and Building Supplies today!  The product types are vertical seam, with preformed panels and granular coated panels. Style options allow you to achieve the look of asphalt shingles, slate roof, clay shingles, wood shingles, or vertical panels. Make sure your metal roofing product is tested, labeled, and listed by a testing organization, such as UL, FM Approvals, or Intertek, for meeting stringent wind, fire, and impact rating requirement

Cabin rental, a new model of vacation apartment at your fingertips!

The rental of cabins as a holiday apartment is a new form of accommodation that increasingly attracts a greater number of people. With a growth of the most powerful, the tourist rentals intend to take the lead to the hotels in this year that we have just released and thus increase the profits of their owners. With such data, keeping an eye on the options that become frequent is a way of betting on our business. Away from the city and sheltered for those couples or groups of friends who want to be calm, the cabins are presented as a way to disconnect and feel nature as we have never valued it before. For a vacation or relaxing time as a guest is fine, but what are our obligations as an owner? This 2021, when a flood of tourists looking for calm is expected, you should consider certain options. What should I know about renting cabins as an owner? Although you can confuse them with the famous country houses, the rental of cabins is very different when we talk about those steps that