Alcohol In The Workplace Policy Sample: What Should Be Included?
10 November, 2023
As businesses strive to create a safe and productive work environment, addressing alcohol use has become increasingly essential. By implementing an alcohol in the workplace policy sample, companies may understand what factors should be included. For example, they may state their objectives. Additionally, the policy may add the different alcohol testing methods they wish to use. Lastly, they may outline the disciplinary actions for those who fail those tests.
Crafting an effective workplace alcohol policy requires careful consideration of various factors and legal requirements. Employers must ensure fairness in their goal to prevent harmful alcohol consumption from affecting the workplace. Furthermore, they must respect the rights to privacy of their workers. Implementing a policy helps set company expectations and promote responsible behaviour. This article will present some essential parts of any alcohol policy, such as clear objectives, testing methods, and disciplinary action.
Alcohol in the Workplace Policy Sample: State Clear Objectives
Having a clear alcohol in the workplace policy sample is crucial for all companies. This is especially so for high-risk industries. It is the obligation of employers to ensure a safe environment for all workers. A policy must set clear objectives and guidelines for everyone regarding the consumption of alcohol on company premises or at company-sponsored events. Its scope may include contractors and visitors as well.
A sample policy can serve as a helpful starting point that employers may further update to align with their needs and values. The policy must clearly state its objectives. One objective may be to promote safe and responsible alcohol consumption. Furthermore, it may aim to mitigate legal risks for the company by ensuring safeguards are in place to prevent alcohol-related incidents.
Moreover, a policy may establish a code of behaviour for employees to follow. This will list the expectations of the company for their workers. Another objective may be to comply with the applicable laws and regulations, such as the Work Health and Safety Act.
Identifying the Effects of Intoxication in the Workplace
These are some effects that intoxication may have in the workplace:
- It increases absenteeism and tardiness among individuals due to alcohol misuse.
- Impaired employees experience reduced mental and physical capabilities.
- Impaired workers are more likely to cause accidents that may endanger co-employees and the general public.
- Poor performance and low productivity due to alcohol abuse may lead to high turnover rates and a lack of a stable workforce.
- Productivity losses and increased rates of accidents may cause reputational damage to companies.
- Employers may face problems with medical and insurance expenses because of substance misuse issues.
Alcohol in the Workplace Policy Sample: Types of Tests to Detect Intoxication
The alcohol in the workplace policy sample must include the different tests the employers may use. Several testing procedures are available to determine recent alcohol use and measure Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels. The urine test is considered the standard for workplace alcohol testing. It uses urine samples to detect traces of ethanol within 24 hours of the last intake. Another form of urine test, the ethyl glucuronide (EtG) test, increases this period to 80 hours.
Another option is the oral fluid test. It has a short detection window of 12 hours. However, it is often used because of its easy and non-invasive collection procedure. Another test that is easy to conduct is the breath test. Here, the individual blows into a breathalyser. It uses sensors to measure their BAC levels.
Hair follicle testing is often used to trace a history of substance use. It has a detection period of 90 days. However, it does not include the seven days before collection due to the nature of hair growth. Lastly, the blood test is considered the most accurate and has a detection period of 12 hours.
Can an Employee Refuse a Test
In certain circumstances, an employee may have the right to refuse a test. However, this depends on the type of test and the relevant laws and regulations in place. Another factor is the prior agreement of the employee to the policy. In some cases, they may refuse a specific test if they are unable to provide the needed samples because of a medical condition.
Individuals may seek advice from a legal professional or employee representative to help them understand their rights before refusing a test. This is because refusal may have legal implications or other consequences.
Alcohol in the Workplace Policy Sample: Disciplinary Actions for Failing a Test
One vital aspect that should be included in the alcohol in the workplace policy sample is disciplinary actions for failing a test. A positive or non-negative test is indicative of recent liquor consumption. Moreover, a high BAC level from a breath test may measure how intoxicated an individual is. Individuals who receive a positive test result may face sanctions for breaking company policy.
Generally, companies issue warnings and suspensions to give employees a chance to recover and enrol themselves in rehabilitation programs. Verbal warnings are the lightest penalties and progress to suspensions after subsequent offences. The most severe punishment is termination. Employers may dismiss individuals who continually break policy and increase safety risks.
However, employers must remain fair throughout this process. Furthermore, they should maintain the privacy of the employee by ensuring confidentiality of the results. At most, only the worker and the relevant personnel should be involved. By effectively implementing disciplinary action, employers may deter substance abuse in workers. This helps protect their well-being on and off company premises.
What Happens in Cases of False Positives
A false positive may occur due to various factors. This includes medication, health conditions, or exposure to products with trace amounts of ethanol. Testing methods are not 100% accurate. This is why many recommend diversified testing. However, a false positive may result in undue consequences and damage the reputation of the individual.
In some cases, employees may petition for confirmatory testing. This may help prove their innocence and prevent them from suffering undue consequences. Confirmatory testing may involve further examination of the previously provided samples in a lab using specialised methods like gas chromatography-mas spectrometry (GC-MS).
Many employers find it helpful to implement an alcohol in the workplace policy sample. Creating an effective policy requires much effort and consideration. Additionally, it is ideal for it to be regularly updated to suit the needs of the company. It is essential to include clear objectives to guide the employees on what the company wishes to achieve. Moreover, employers should list the possible testing methods they may use.
It is crucial to consider the costs and invasiveness of the collection procedure when selecting tests. Furthermore, the required detection window is another vital factor to consider. In cases of false positives, companies may benefit from allowing confirmatory testing to ensure fairness. However, they should also strictly implement sanctions on those who violate the rules to emphasise their commitment to a safe working environment. Workplace breathalysers with police-grade sensors are available in Breathalysers Australia.