Drug Free Workplace
Substance abuse in the workplace is a serious issue. Employees who are under the influence of a drug on the job compromise an employers interests, endanger their own health and safety and the health and safety of others, and can cause a number of other work-related problems, including absenteeism and tardiness, substandard job performance, increased work loads for co-workers, behavior that disrupts other employees, delays in the completion of jobs, inferior quality in products or services, and disruption of customer relations (Drug-free workplace policy, 2004). These reasons explain why it is so important for an employer to support a drug free workplace. Key components of this initiative are to publish clearly defined policies, establish a drug awareness and education program, train supervisors to detect and manage substance abuse issues and offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
Clearly defined written policies lay the groundwork for a drug free workplace and should answer the following questions (elaws — drug free workplace advisor):
What is the purpose/goal of the program?
Who will be covered by the policy and when will it apply?
What behavior will be prohibited?
Will employees be required to notify you of drug-related convictions?
Does the policy include searches and/or drug testing?
What will the consequences be if the policy is violated?
Will there be return-to-work agreements?
What type of assistance will be available?
How will employee confidentiality be protected?
Who is responsible for enforcing the policy?
How will the policy be communicated to employees?
The companys drug awareness and education program should inform employees of an organizations commitment to a drug-free workplace and the employees duty to adhere to a companys policies and procedures (Utah Valley State College policies and procedures, 1992).
Further, the program should educate employees about the dangers of using drugs in the workplace and make them aware of places to turn to for help such as available drug-abuse counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance programs. The program should also emphasize sanctions and penalties that may be imposed for violating drug policies and procedures.
Supervisors are the foundation upon which a successful drug-free workplace program is implemented and administered” (The role and responsibilities of supervisors). They must understand and communicate the companys policy and be trained in the detection and assessment of drug abuse..