Written by prominent workplace relations lawyer and health and safety expert Michael Selinger, and a senior pathologist and leading authority in workplace drug testing Dr Charles Appleton, they outline everything you need to examine in relation to workplace drug and alcohol use and testing.
The problems drugs and alcohol can cause in the workplace
Workers affected by drugs or alcohol may not only endanger themselves and the people they surround, but they can also cause costly damage to a business.
Australian businesses lose approximately $6 billion annually due to lost productivity, staff absences and other hidden costs associated with drug and alcohol use.
Understand all of the hazards that intoxicated workers can present.
Employers’ health and safety obligations in relation to drugs and alcohol
Under health and safety legislation, employers have a duty to ensure workers don’t put themselves or others at risk when they attend work.
Learn how to identify drug and alcohol risks in your workplace so you can meet your health and safety obligations.
What employers must know when testing for drugs and alcohol
There are many factors employers need to consider when testing for drugs and alcohol.
Know exactly when and how you should conduct testing, what you should be testing for and the important testing protocols you must adhere to.
How to implement a workplace drug and alcohol policy
Drug and alcohol testing can be perceived as intrusive and any policy that is implemented needs to be applied fairly and consistently.
Understand what type of policy you can implement, depending on the risk factors in your workplace, and learn about the rigorous guidelines all employers enforcing a drug and alcohol policy must follow.
Legal guidelines when disciplining workers who test positive for drugs and alcohol
Strict legislation governs how employees can discipline workers in relation to drug and alcohol testing.
Be aware of what every employer should know when a worker:
- tests positive for drugs and alcohol
- refuses to be tested
- uses drugs or alcohol outside of work
- has a drug and alcohol addiction
Any employer who doesn’t follow the letter of the law can face severe penalties.
In a recent legal case, an employee who refused a urine test was awarded $27,900 in compensation, simply because the employer failed to adhere to their own workplace policy.
As an employer it is your lawful duty to provide a safe environment for all of your staff and visitors.