Over the last few weeks I have been asked about Drug and Alcohol policies for the workplace, whether coincidence of indicative of a rising problem two of our Customers have had instances of finding drugs in the workplace. This is clearly as inappropriate of someone drinking alcohol within the working day, it is also extremely dangerous. We all know that drugs and alcohol impare judgement greatly (ever done something you later regretted at the office Christmas party?). Imagine trying to make decisions which could affect your employer or your work colleagues, driving workplace vehicles (or any vehicles), or trying to operate a piece of machinery with such a level of reduced judgement? The Met Police chief has suggested that all employees should be subject to a mandatory drug test and should be offered help if they fail that test, but recommends that if they reject help they should lose their jobs.
Obviously for most of us mandatory drug testing is unnecessary, however perhaps in a world where drug use is a growing problem it would be prudent to ensure you have a suitable drug and alcohol policy for your workplace which has been brought to the attention of all your employees, and of course sufficient resource to enable you to ‘follow through’. As a minimum your policy should cover what you do and don’t find acceptable (is a pint at lunch time acceptable? or consumption of alcohol in the office with approval by the Director i.e. retirements/birthdays etc.) and where the consumption of either substance is totally unacceptable i.e. operating machinery, driving workplace vehicles and what will occur is these rules are breeched; do you offer help first (have you the facility to do so?), how many chances are they allowed? Although for most of us we happily presume that this isn’t an issue in our workplace we surely would be better positioned if we could put a procedure into effect should an issue arise.