Drug and alcohol abuse is a reality that could exist in any workplace, and employers should address it immediately. Pervasive misuse of drugs and alcohol can cripple the workplace and provide an unsafe working environment. Additionally, under the influence of impairing substances, employees could produce low outputs and pose a work hazard. Therefore, employers must manage substance usage and safety risks to prevent accidents and low productivity rates. Workplace drug and alcohol testing are crucial to maintaining a safe and healthy environment.
Under Australia’s Work Health and Safety Act, employers must provide a balanced and consistent framework to secure worker safety. It includes eliminating or minimising factors that can harm employees, such as drugs and alcohol impairments. In Australia, alcohol and substance-induced impairments are the leading cause of workplace incidents. It costs businesses a lot of money each year due to high hospitalisation expenses, property damage, compensation, and revenue loss. Therefore, employers should start prioritising workplace drug and alcohol testing programs. One way to sustain a healthy environment is to use a breathalyser to detect alcohol use. BACtrack workplace breathalysers are breath testing devices that can accurately and quickly measure your blood alcohol content (BAC).
Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing: Requirements
Before an employer can provide workplace drug and alcohol testing, they must provide a clear workplace policy. Employers and employees must then formally agree to the workplace policy upon employment. An effective prevention policy should be clear and easily understood. It should state when the company would perform tests, the testing methods, the types of tested substances, and the consequences for failing a drug test. Typically, a drug test is done randomly, after an accident, or during pre-employment. It helps employers identify employees who use drugs or alcohol during work. Additionally, pre-employment testing is also helpful in determining whether the applicant has a history of drug use. Hiring the wrong person for the job can negatively impact workplace safety. Therefore, a successful hire depends on passing a pre-employment drug and alcohol test.
Aside from preventing accidents, workplace drug and alcohol testing also help deter employees from substance use. Additionally, a drug and alcohol policy must also take a proactive approach in addressing health and safety concerns. Employees can develop safe practices in and outside the workplace through educational or awareness campaigns. Employees take a healthier approach if they know their employers care about their safety and well-being. To help deter alcohol use, employers use BACtrack workplace breathalysers to monitor their employees constantly. These devices are highly accurate and use the same sensors that you would find in a police officer’s breathalyser.