Managing Drug and Alcohol misuse in the workplace
Managing Drug and Alcohol misuse in the workplace is more important now than ever due to a rise during COVID.
The Global Drug Survey surveyed over 55,000 people in 2020 at the start of the pandemic on drug and alcohol use.
Almost half (48%) of respondents declared that the amount of alcohol they consumed had increased during the pandemic.
Drug use also increased with 44% saying they had increased use of cannabis.
In September 2020 the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned that soaring number of people misusing alcohol could lead to support services struggling to cope.
Leading Trades Union Unison notes that ‘staff who misuse drugs or alcohol are more likely to take time off, display poor performance and increase the risk of accidents. The misuse of drugs including alcohol and other substances, can be a serious problem for the abuser, co-workers and the organisation itself.’
HSE Guidance on drug and alcohol misuse
The HSE notes that employers have a legal duty to protect employee’s health, safety and welfare. Understanding the signs of drug and alcohol misuse (or abuse) will help employers manage health and safety risk. It is also wise to develop a policy to deal with drug and alcohol-related problems and support your employees
HSE advice on Managing Drug and Alcohol Misuse – https://www.hse.gov.uk/alcoholdrugs/
A policy stating how this will be managed is essential is workplace testing is in your staff handbook. If it is not, then it really should be.
Drug and alcohol testing can be arranged in the workplace on a planned, random and ‘for cause’ basis. This form of testing is also known as ‘with-cause’.
A ‘for cause’ test can be taken as the result of an accident. They can also taken if the employer suspects an employee may be under the influence and putting themselves and others at risk.
KML deliver hundreds of drug and alcohol tests each year. This is as part of medicals, general health surveillance and round the clock on 24/7/365 call out. This means we are always here to serve you.
Under contract, we can test anywhere in the UK within 2 hours of call out.
Warning signs include:
- Unexplained or frequent absences
- A change in behaviour
- Unexplained dips in productivity
- More accidents or near-misses
- Performance or conduct issues
For help with your workplace drug & alcohol policy and testing, contact KML at [email protected]