There was a time when drug abuse was a poor man’s affliction or a rich nation’s problem. Today, drug abuse has infiltrated practically all sectors of society, including the workplace. With the rising incidences of drug abuse in the workplace, it’s in the best interest of employers to address this issue. The cost of substance abuse in the workplace can be too heavy to bear, as businesses lose billions of dollars, not only due to healthcare costs brought about by drug abuse, but also due to reduced productivity.
If you’re an employer, it is your responsibility to keep your workplace drug safe, and here are some ways you can do just that.
Totally commit to a drug safe workplace
The road to a drug safe workplace starts with you, the employer, and the rest of your business’ management and leadership. If management lacks commitment in its efforts towards a drug safe workplace, there is no way the campaign to make your workplace drug safe will succeed.
Establish a workplace drug policy
The only way to deal with drug abuse in the workplace is to put a workplace drug policy in place. With drug safety policy development, you will be able to operationalise all of the activities associated with a drug safe program.
Educate your workers about the workplace drug policy
Once you have established a workplace drug policy, you need to make educating your workforce on the said policy a priority. They need to be made aware not only of the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace, but also the actions the company would take on any member of the workforce who violates the said policy, among other things.
Conduct drug testing in the workplace
A drug testing program is an essential part of any workplace drug policy. It is, after all, the only real way to detect and confirm drug abuse in the workplace. If you’re implementing a workplace drug testing drug program, make sure you consult your legal counsel first to make sure that the rights of the employees are also protected at all times. After all, workplace drug testing can raise some privacy issues, among other things, and you need to be on top of things to protect yourself and your business.
Provide assistance to workers with drug abuse problems
While some employers automatically terminate the employment of workers who test positive for drugs, that should not really be the case for everyone. After all, drug abusers need help too, and it’s only humanitarian for any employer to at least give employees a chance to clean up their act first. Employers can really help affected workers get the counselling, treatment, and rehabilitation they need.
The effects of drug abuse in the workplace can be devastating. Many workplace accidents, injuries, and illnesses are the direct effects of drug abuse. Drug abuse also takes a toll on one’s job performance, causing absenteeism and poor productivity among workers. By developing a workplace drug policy, employers and employees alike can work towards a drug safe workplace for the benefit of everyone concerned.