alcohol-policy-for-employees

Why You Need an Alcohol Policy for Employees

A company or business and its profits mainly rely on the productivity and performance of its employees. All successful companies have a consistent and hard-working workforce supporting them. One main factor for companies to maintain their efficiency within the workplace is to keep their employees safe and healthy. Moreover, a safe and risk-free environment helps with comfort and stress, even under heavy workloads. With the prevalence and availability of alcohol intoxication, companies should now implement a comprehensive workplace alcohol policy for employees. Companies can maintain their employees’ rate and quality of work with policies like these. Furthermore, the policy includes workplace alcohol testing. Hence, highly effective, efficient, and reliable devices are imperative for any workplace alcohol policy. Breathalysers Australia offers a variety of workplace breathalysers that are ideal for keeping the work environment safe with frequent and convenient breath alcohol testing.

What is a Workplace Alcohol Policy for Employees?

A workplace alcohol policy for employees is a compilation of rules and regulations of the company with regard to alcohol use and abuse within the workplace. Moreover, it aims to provide prevention, counselling, education, training and rehabilitation concerning alcohol-related issues within the work environment. Employers have a legal responsibility to provide all employees with a safe and healthy working environment. Hence, it is imperative that the policy complies with the Australian Standards for Workplace Health and Safety (WHS). Subsequently, all employees have an obligation to identify workplace risks associated with alcohol use and abuse. Employees should ensure their own safety and that of others in the workplace.

In addition, a workplace alcohol policy for employees should tailor to the specific needs, requirements and circumstances of each company or organisation. However, the goals of creating and implementing the policy and procedures should generally be the same. Employers may use these as a guideline to determine the purposes of the policy:

  • Provide a safe working environment
  • Proactive management of handling alcohol in the workplace
  • Reduction of personal and professional losses associated with alcohol use and abuse
  • Minimise alcohol-related risks and danger to all employees in the company
  • Provide all workers with a clear understanding of what is the acceptable behaviour during working hours
  • Provide employees with an appropriate process for alcoholism issues through education, training and support

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Reason for a Workplace Alcohol Policy for Employees

As stated, the law requires companies and businesses to have a method for keeping their workplaces safe from alcohol-related incidents. Thus, a strict alcohol policy for employees may help induce discipline in the workforce. Implementing this policy can affect their plans on what to do before, during and after working hours in a positive way. Alcohol does have lingering effects, which can affect the attitude and behaviour of an employee throughout the day. Even if they bother to show up for work, having employees under the influence of alcohol would prove to be more of a burden than any help for the company. Consequently, they could easily disrupt the work of other employees as well as their safety.

Having an implemented comprehensive workplace alcohol policy for employees can have these workplace benefits:

  • A safer place to work in with decreased chances of risks, accidents, injuries and fatalities
  • Compliance with the Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) and other related legislation
  • An increase in employee performance and productivity
  • Reduction of employee absenteeism and tardiness
  • A decrease in staff turnover and early retirement
  • A reduction in operating, reputational and indirect costs
  • Improvement of interpersonal work relations and employee morale
  • Improvement of general safety, health and well-being of employees

Dangers of Not Having an Alcohol Policy for Employees in the Workplace

With regards to not implementing an alcohol policy for employees, a high standard of safety within the workplace directly affects the yearly expenses of a company. Reducing risks for injury and sickness within the company helps maintain decent health insurance costs and the absentee rating. A great way to produce such safety is by reducing the chances of substance abuse within the company. Keep in mind that high and constant alcohol use could significantly deteriorate the health of an individual. Consequently, that individual might spread certain illnesses throughout the workplace. Injuries are also almost avoidable when everyone is in their right state of mind.

A person under the influence of alcohol would most likely have decreased attention and awareness towards their environment and should be adequately monitored to prevent injuries to themselves and their coworkers. Therefore, it demonstrates how necessary it is to have an alcohol policy for employees that provides frequent screening. Thus, workplace alcohol testing is a critical part of the policy and procedure.

Workplace Alcohol Testing via Breath Tests

The most cost-efficient method for detecting alcohol is breath tests. An alcohol breath test employs the use of a device, more commonly called a breathalyser. This device detects the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in an individual’s breath sample. An effective alcohol policy for employees should include all information regarding alcohol testing procedures and protocols in the workplace. Unfortunately, some employees may find alcohol testing in the workplace a breach of their privacy. Hence, it is crucial that all employees first understand and agree to the implementation of the policy. It would help that the employer’s primary goal would be to reduce occupational hazards, which would be a direct benefit to all employees. Additionally, companies should also define the type of alcohol tests they require, tests such as:

  • Pre-employment
  • Random
  • Periodic or scheduled
  • Post-incident/ accident
  • Reasonable suspicion or targeted
  • Post-treatment

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BACtrack Breathalyser at Breathalysers Australia for Workplace Breath Alcohol Testing

In order for a workplace alcohol policy for employees to be as effective as it can be, employers should be able to test their employees reliably. This is where the workplace breathalysers come in. Breathalysers Australia has various breathalysers available explicitly designed for workplace use. These devices are highly accurate with their professional-grade fuel cell sensors. Moreover, these sensors can only detect ethyl alcohol in breath samples, reducing the likelihood of false-positive results common to low-quality breathalysers. BACtrack breathalysers also feature a one-button operation and can process BAC results in just 10 to 15 seconds. These features make alcohol breath testing in the workplace quick and easy. Furthermore, they also have a low power requirement. Employers can conduct up to 1,500 tests with just a single set of AA batteries using these breathalysers.

Therefore, with all the advantages of these devices, any company requiring a strict workplace alcohol policy for employees can definitely rely on the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia for their breath testing needs.

Conclusion

Given how easy it is to acquire alcoholic beverages, companies should strictly maintain an alcohol policy for employees as much as possible. Having a reliable breath testing device available at any time helps provide constant testing with police-grade accuracy. Thus, it would help provide a much safer workplace with little to no expense. Providing workplace safety has become as affordable and cost-effective as possible with the BACtrack workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia.