Drug and Alcohol Policy Development
A drug and alcohol policy forms the foundation of addressing the use of substances in the workplace.
Having a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy in place was associated with significantly decreased probability of risky drinking and with any drug use. In fact, a University of NSW & Injury Risk Management Research Centre study found
“…drug (users) were more likely to work in companies that did not have policies against drug use or did not enforce existing policies and so may have more liberal attitudes to drug use…”
First time implementing a drug and alcohol program? You'll need to start with a policy.
The policy is the foundation of your safety program, and communicates your expectations to all employees. AusHealth Work collaborate with clients to create new policies. We bring our knowledge of best practice and expertise in the field to fully customise a drug and alcohol policy and procedure to meet your unique needs.
This could include
- Helping you select the form of testing you need, including walking you through the scientific reasons to select different testing options - e.g. deciding between oral fluid, urine or hair testing;
- The most appropriate design of testing program - when to test, what proportion of the team to include in random selection, when to undertake targeted or post-incident testing, and advising on return-to-work testing schedules;
- Best practice in education and training - educating all employees for better health outcomes, and training managers and supervisors to spot the possible influence of drugs or alcohol at work, or even advanced drug and alcohol program management;
- The role of rehabilitation and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) - when and how to assist workers returning a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test;
- Best practice in disciplinary issues specific to drug and alcohol testing - including how many 'strikes' an employee handling a substance abuse issue might have before disciplinary matters are undertaken, including possible dismissal;
- Best practice in implementation and employee consultation - ensuring a smooth transition from your prior arrangements to the new drug and alcohol policy;
- Issues associated with entering discussions with active unions in your workplace - involving unions in development of your program, to ensure the interests of workers are kept at heart; and,
- Confidentiality and legal defensibility of testing - how and when to disclose information, balancing safety with the privacy of the employee and the requirements of the law.
Do you already have a policy, but want it assessed?
Many clients already have a policy. This could be a purchased template, or something you have developed internally, possibly some time ago. AusHealth Work works with clients to assess current documents' effectiveness and applicability to current testing standards. We apply our broad, cross-industry experience to help you become a safety leader. AusHealth Work's toxicologists apply all the knowledge and skills of policy development listed above to determine how your current policy or program meets your specific requirements or needs.
AusHealth Work also recommends routine examination of how your organisation manages substances in the workplace, bringing in recent testing trends to ensure you are always achieving the best outcomes. Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation, this could happen yearly, or more or less frequently. We can help you determine the frequency, by identifying risk factors that might be specific to your industry, or coming changes within testing processes and Standards.
Who is providing this advice within AusHealth Work?
AusHealth Work can ensure your policy is reviewed by the very best. New policies and reviews/updates of existing documents are conducted by our in-house toxicologists. Both Drs Edwards and Bruschi are PhD-qualified and each has decades' experience working with private and public sector organisations in managing employee exposure to toxic substances.
Our toxicologists are assisted by an experienced team, including your local AusHealth Work Business Development Executive, and our operations team. Once your policy is implemented, the toxicologists are also available ongoing to provide technical advice and laboratory report interpretation, ensuring you always have quality testing information to support your team.