Companies and employers desire the best out of their staff to maintain the company’s productivity and profit margins. Furthermore, companies should be alert for possible employees battling alcohol misuse, given the rise in alcohol-related disorders in recent years. This is due to the negative impact that alcohol can have on a person. When employees are under the influence, their behaviour and attitude at work are significantly altered; this can considerably impact their workload, job quality, and productivity. Thus, negatively affecting the company. Many organisations have already developed a drinking alcohol at work policy to combat these rigorous drinking alcohol habits by the employees.
Alcohol is more accessible than other abused substances and may be acquired almost anywhere. Additionally, having this type of accessibility allows employees to bring them to work in some instances readily. Having equipment like the BACtrack workplace breathalyser on hand enables more regular and accurate testing, potentially preventing alcohol intake before or during work hours. Companies that conduct random tests or provide tests to those who exhibit suspicious behaviour at work are examples of having strict drinking alcohol at work policy. Furthermore, these tests can be performed rapidly by blowing into the mouthpiece of the BACtrack workplace breathalyser, which will provide results in a matter of seconds. These breathalysers would aid in calculating an individual’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) immediately and accurately.
How to Create an Effective Policy
No policy is perfect, but every company should strive for the most effective one for them. Updating policies is needed to keep up with the growing needs of the workplace. Thus, the company’s drinking alcohol at work policy should include clear and concise rules. Also, employers must communicate their business or company’s objectives with the workforce. Therefore, making employees aware of the requirements and agreeing to them in advance. Things to consider in building a policy can be:
- Cooperation with all employees and health and safety representatives is crucial in creating the best alcohol policy for the company.
- The company’s alcohol policy should be fair for all employees—minimal exemptions.
- The alcohol policy should spell out what is and is not acceptable behaviour and the consequences of breaking it.
- The testing methodologies and processes should be detailed if the company’s policy enforces alcohol testing.
- Ensure that all employees are aware of the workplace’s alcohol policy.
- The goal of the alcohol policy should be to reduce the hazards of alcohol abuse.
- Define the duties and responsibilities of the people authorised to implement the workplace policy and procedure.
- Employees have access to educational opportunities, training, and information about treatment and counselling options.
Proper Implementation of a Drinking Alcohol at Work Policy
The basis for an effective policy does not end in its creation and is only half of it. Instead, implementing a procedure such as the drinking alcohol at work policy is the more challenging half. When creating a policy for the workplace, an employer should include clear instructions on how to apply it. Furthermore, stating their expectations for their personnel is beneficial. It guarantees that all employees are informed of the company’s or business’s needs. While a company can create and consider everything listed above, enforcing it is another. Therefore, these guidelines may help:
- All staff must be aware of the policy and processes.
- Update workers about the procedures so they know what to expect from the employer.
- Ensure to inform employees of the many sorts of testing that may occur, including pre-employment, for-cause, post-accident, and random testing.
- Align the testing frequency and methodologies to the business or company’s needs.
- Apply the alcohol testing protocols fairly and consistently.
- Keep testing procedures and results confidential.
- Document everything properly.
On the other hand, employers should avoid these when implementing the drinking alcohol at work policy:
- To deliberately single out a person
- Punishing employees harshly or needlessly sanctioning them should be avoided.
- Change or modify an existing workplace policy or process without first informing your employees
- Breaking the employee’s rights to privacy and confidentiality.
Benefits of Proper Implementation
It is commonly agreed upon that creating and implementing the drinking alcohol at work policy is a good idea. Also, implementing an alcohol workplace policy is a sensible and legitimate way to manage workplace risks and ensure employee safety. Some employees, however, believe that alcohol testing is an unfair infringement of their privacy. Following through with the policy would provide the company benefits such as:
- Create a safer working environment with fewer hazards, accidents, injuries, and fatalities
- Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) and other relevant regulation compliance
- An increase in employee productivity and performance
- Lowers employee absenteeism and tardiness
- Reduced worker attrition
- Reducing operational, reputational, and indirect costs
- Boosts employee morale and interpersonal work relationships
- Employee safety, health, and well-being will improve
Lack of a Drinking Alcohol at Work Policy
Creating and implementing an effective alcohol workplace policy benefits the employer and employee. Meanwhile, the lack thereof will result in catastrophic results. Employers may have substantial difficulties developing a drinking alcohol at work policy. As a result, this can lead to being held accountable for any negligent or unjust acts made by an employee under the influence of alcohol. The employer must also take all reasonable measures to prevent disruptive behaviour. A person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to be distracted and unaware of their surroundings and should be closely supervised to avoid harming themselves or their coworkers. As a result, it illustrates the importance of having an alcohol policy for employees that includes regular screening. As a result, workplace alcohol testing is an essential aspect of the policy.
When it comes to not having a drinking alcohol at work policy for employees, a high level of workplace safety has a direct impact on a company’s annual expenses. Reducing the company’s risk of accidents and illnesses helps keep health insurance expenses low and absenteeism low. Reduced chances of substance use within the workplace is a fantastic strategy to achieve such safety. Keep in mind that excessive and continuous alcohol consumption can seriously harm a person’s health. As a result, that person may be able to spread certain infections throughout the workplace. Injuries can be avoidable when everyone is in their correct frame of mind.
Breath Tests for an Improved Workplace Alcohol Policy
Workplace alcohol testing should be a part of every corporate drinking alcohol at work policy. It is because alcohol breath testing is the most reliable option for alcohol testing in the workplace. Alcohol breath tests are simple and accurate. Furthermore, unlike other testing procedures that require processing time in registered laboratories, results can be obtained immediately. Alcohol breath test results do not require the aid of a medical practitioner because all you need is a breathalyser. Breathalysers are devices that use a breath sample to detect the presence of alcohol in the blood. Moreover, a great selection of workplace BACtrack breathalysers is available on Breathalysers Australia’s website. Additionally, using a BACtrack workplace breathalyser with a strict alcohol policy can make implementation more efficient and result in a safer workplace environment.