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Drug and Alcohol Safety in the Workplace

Company News, Workplace Safety | October 30, 2018

In light of the recent passing of legislation legalizing the use of marijuana in Canada, it is pertinent to inspect the standards of drug and alcohol safety in the workplace. At United Scaffold Supply, we believe that the safety and well-being of employees should always be the top priority of any company, and our policies and programs reflect that value. To ensure that your employees are safe whenever they are at work, we have outlined some tips and guidelines to consider regarding alcohol and drug use.

Defining Impairment in the Workplace

Impairment at work is defined as any altered state of physical, mental, or emotional functioning. An impaired person can be a danger to themselves and others through decreased quality in job performance and an absence of attentiveness. While an employee does have a certain amount of confidentiality in regard to their private life, if their personal life is affecting work, an employer may need to suggest corrective measures.

How Drug & Alcohol Impairment Affects Work

Alcohol or drug use does not need to take place on the job in order for it to affect work. Work can be impacted when substance consumption affects a person’s perception, judgement, alertness, emotions, or motor control in a negative way. This can be due to inhibition from recent use or from a hangover or withdrawal. These factors can lead to lapses in safety that endanger the individual or their coworkers. Other ways that a person’s work can be impacted include absenteeism and reduced productivity, which can produce a strain on coworkers and management.

The Costs of Careless Drug & Alcohol Use

If an employee’s work is being affected by drug or alcohol use, it can have a negative impact on the company. In addition to creating a safety risk, the impaired employee can experience reduced productivity, lower morale, and diminished health. Their actions can result in a loss of time due to the need for disciplinary measures, drug tests, and the drafting of new policies, which can cause a financial loss for a company.

Canadian occupational health and safety standards recommend that employers include policies regarding drug and alcohol use in their hazard prevention programs. Due to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, policies should be updated to specifically address the issues and effects of that particular drug. It is the responsibility of the employee to only use drugs and alcohol safely and conscientiously.

If you would like to learn more about United Scaffold Supply’s policies regarding drug and alcohol safety in the workplace, or if you are interested in one of our products or services, please contact United Scaffold Supply at 1-866-820-6341 or fill out a contact form on our website.