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Drug & Alcohol Policy Sample: What Can Be Included?

30 November, 2023

A group of office workers discussing at work

Illicit substances in the workplace can present safety risks. Thus, employers need to have a well-defined drug & alcohol policy sample. They can present their objectives and goals for implementing one. These typically include protecting the company and abiding by safety legislation. Moreover, the type of test they will use to screen employees can be indicated in the policy. Furthermore, businesses can communicate what will happen after receiving a positive drug or alcohol test result.

People can misuse prescription medication, use illegal drugs, and excessively consume alcohol. All these can lead to dangerous behaviour and health risks. In addition, these reduce productivity in the workplace. To address the safety issue, organisations should have a comprehensive policy sample. It should be tailored to their needs. The following sections will present the elements to add to a policy, including objectives, testing methods, and expectations after a non-negative test outcome.

Drug & Alcohol Policy Sample – Objectives

There can be different objectives for implementing a drug and alcohol policy sample within any organisation. One of the most common is to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees. The policy aims to create a healthy and productive workplace. Employers can use education, prevention, and intervention. Through these, the policy seeks to minimise the risk of accidents, injuries, and impaired performance related to drug and alcohol use in the workplace.

To achieve objectives, the policy sample emphasises the importance of raising awareness about the risks and consequences of substance abuse. This includes providing information about the potential effects of drugs and alcohol on health, safety, and job performance. Additionally, the policy aims to provide support and resources for employees who may be struggling with substance abuse. By offering these measures, the policy seeks to promote responsibility.

By establishing guidelines, the policy aims to provide a framework for addressing alcohol and drug issues fairly and consistently. Moreover, it demonstrates the commitment of the company to prevent the risk of harm at work, especially for employees in critical positions.

Reasons to Conduct a Test

  • Pre-employment: Alcohol and drug testing ensures that potential employees are capable of performing the job. Moreover, it screens out any candidates who may not be fit for the position.
  • Random: This deters workers from using substances during work hours. Also, this maintains a safe and productive work environment.
  • Post-accident: Employers can determine whether illegal drugs or alcohol may have contributed to a workplace accident.
  • Reasonable suspicion: The test addresses any concerns regarding the behaviour or performance of an employee that may be related to substance use. After obtaining a result, employers may intervene if necessary.

A urine test kit with a urine sample

Drug & Alcohol Policy Sample – Types of Tests

Organisations can choose from various types of testing procedures to detect the presence of substances. They can include this when implementing a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy sample. One option is urine testing, which is a common method. Many businesses utilise it because of its accuracy, cost-effective, and relatively non-invasive nature.

Moreover, there is oral fluid testing. This kind of test is easy to administer. Also, it is particularly useful for detecting recent drug use. Additionally, breath testing is available to measure the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of an individual. This makes it an effective tool for identifying alcohol impairment in the workplace. Employers can purchase a breathalyser for immediate access to test results.

Furthermore, companies can use blood testing. Professionals consider this the most accurate in detecting illicit drugs and other substances. However, the process can be quite intrusive. Each type of test serves a specific purpose in identifying and deterring substance abuse at work. These testing protocols can serve as a critical component in promoting safety and complying with regulatory requirements.

Can an Individual Refuse a Test?

Individuals can refuse a substance test. However, it may have legal and disciplinary consequences depending on the circumstances. Employers have the right to compel an individual to take a test in certain situations. This includes safety concerns or reasonable suspicion.

On the other hand, employees typically have the right to refuse medical tests. Some examples are drug or alcohol testing. It should be if they are not legally mandated or required for specific purposes. Understanding legal rights is important to avoid inconveniences. Depending on the situation, refusal can result in disciplinary measures, legal repercussions, or negative impacts on employment.

A urine sample container on top of a drug test result

Drug & Alcohol Policy Sample – What to Expect for a Positive Result?

Drug and alcohol policy sample typically outlines the rules and expectations regarding substance use in the workplace. It may include information about the consequences of violating the policy. Employees can expect that positive results from these tests may lead to disciplinary action. For instance, termination of employment is possible, depending on the severity of the violation and the policy.

In addition, a non-negative result for drugs or alcohol can result in suspension or mandatory counselling. Workers can expect their employers to inform them of the specific consequences in the event of a positive outcome. The policy may also include details on the confidentiality of test results and the process for challenging a non-negative result if an employee believes there has been an error.

Workers must understand that the policy sample is in place to prioritise the safety and well-being of everyone in the workplace. This includes not only themselves but also their colleagues, clients, and the general public. By following the policy and meeting its expectations, they can contribute to a safer and more productive work environment for everyone.

Employee Assistance Programs

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide support and resources to employees who may be struggling with alcohol or drug use. These programs often include confidential counselling services and referrals to treatment facilities. Moreover, they have educational materials to help employees address their substance misuse.

EAPs also aim to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for addiction by creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment for employees. By offering the programs, employers can demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of their employees. Moreover, these can help reduce absenteeism, improve job performance, and minimise accidents related to substance misuse.

Conclusion

A drug & alcohol policy sample is a written document. It outlines the rules and regulations governing the use of substances in a workplace setting. Such policies typically include provisions related to the possession, sale, transport, storage, and consumption of alcohol or drugs on company premises. Additionally, they may cover topics like the objectives, testing procedures, and disciplinary actions for violations of the policy. Both parties must thoroughly understand its components to avoid problems.

Employees need to undergo drug and alcohol testing. This is because it maintains a safe, substance-free work environment. Employers may conduct it randomly or when they have reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of substances. A positive result may prompt verbal warnings or termination. There are EAPs available if businesses offer them. This includes counselling and access to educational resources. These programs can help employees who have substance abuse issues.

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