How to Implement Drug-Free Workplace Programs
According to Safe Work Australia, as an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your workers and workplace environment.
Drug abuse can affect an employee’s ability to work safely. A staff member working under the influence of drugs could kill or seriously injure themselves or someone else.
This is why many businesses, including those in the transportation, health care, and automotive industries, have established drug-free programs. These programs are set up to ensure the safety of their workers as well as their customers, and also to prevent unwanted legal battles and financial losses caused by drug abuse incidents.
In this article, you will learn the correct method on how to implement a drug-free program at your workplace. But before we dive in, let’s take a moment to define a workplace drug-free program.
What Is a Drug-Free Workplace Program?
Why It’s Important to Create a Drug-Free Workplace Program
Components of a Drug-Free Workplace Program
How Do You Start a Drug-Free Workplace Program?
To begin, establish a drug abuse prevention policy in line with the recommended standard from your state’s work health and safety authority.
Having a drug-free policy at your workplace can help protect your business from financial losses caused by drug abuse-related incidents. A well-written drug policy should include:
If you are very concerned about drug abuse at your workplace, you may even go further to add drug testing to your pre-employment qualification for onboarding new talents. This will ensure you get it right from the start by employing drug-free candidates with minimal chances of abusing drugs in the future.
You can also incorporate the six-panel drug test into your drug testing program. A six-panel drug testing kit such as the Innoscreen or MicroScreen can detect the following illicit drugs in a single test:
How to Enforce Workplace Drug-Free Program
The major task of implementing a drug-free workplace program is having to enforce it. What use is a law, if no one obeys it, right!
If you are considering the next steps to take to ensure compliance with your workplace drug-free program, here are seven quick steps to get you started right away:
1. Draft a Drug-free Policy
Write out a clear drug-free policy that highlights your company’s restrictions on drug abuse.
Your drug-free policy should align well with the Australian government standards. A well-documented policy will serve as an invaluable reference for both employers and employees, as well as for disciplinary and legal proceedings.
2. Train Supervisors
You need to equip a team with the right skills to be able to execute your plan for a drug-free workplace. This team of supervisors will be trained on how to spot workplace drug abuse and how to confront a suspected employee.
3. Educate Employees
4. Assist Employees With the Help They Need
Providing a program that assists employees struggling with drug abuse is the kinder left hand for enforcing your drug-free policy.
You can choose to partner with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to provide counselling and other wellness solutions for the affected staff. EAPs are inexpensive and generally cost less than hiring a new employee. This program can help you to prevent and manage drug abuse at your workplace.
5. Perform Drug Tests
Drug testing is the strict but invaluable right hand for enforcing your workplace drug-free program.
Without drug tests, employees may abuse drugs without being held accountable. Drug testing provides the much-needed checks to verify workers’ compliance with your drug-free policy. It can also help deter employees from abusing prescription drugs since they know they will be tested and caught.
Furthermore, pre-employment drug testing kits can be used to onboard the right, drug-free candidate for your business. This eliminates the risks of employing a drug addict, saving you the time and money that will have been spent on damages, counselling, or recruiting new staff.