Drugs and Alcohol

by Ian Robinson

Common questions

  1. How do I find out if we have a drug or drink problem at work?
  2. How do I write a drugs and alcohol policy?
  3. How do I identify if a member of staff has a drug problem?
  4. What do I do if I find some drugs at work?
  5. What can I do if I suspect that a member of staff, who regularly takes time off on sick leave, has a drink problem?
  6. Can I test a member of my staff if they have had an accident at work and I suspect they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  7. How do I search my warehouse for drugs?

 

1. How do I find out if we have a drug or drink problem at work?

The only sure way is to carry out a full risk assessment. This should include examining various records, such as sickness, disciplinary and accident records. A full search of the organisation premises should be carried out by trained staff and, ideally, the organisation culture should be examined with this issue in mind and staff views should be obtained.

More...

2. How do I write a drugs and alcohol policy?

There are five main steps to writing a organisation drugs and alcohol policy:

  1. Planning
  2. Consultation
  3. Getting started
  4. Implementation
  5. Monitoring and review

More...

3. How do I identify if a member of staff has a drug problem?

There is no simple answer to this question, as the signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. Invariably, there will be a number of indicators which, when added together, would suggest that the person has a problem. Training managers in drug and alcohol awareness is the most effective method of equipping them to identify issues at an early stage, when intervention can be most effective.

More...

4. What do I do if I find some drugs at work?

The process for dealing with an incident such as this should be clearly laid out in the organisation drugs and alcohol policy. It is important that managers are aware of, and follow, the laid-down procedure, as they could be personally liable under the Misuse of Drugs Act if they do not deal with the incident and substance correctly.

More...

5. What can I do if I suspect that a member of staff, who regularly takes time off on sick leave, has a drink problem?

This issue should be covered in the organisation drugs and alcohol policy, which should establish the process to follow. This could be an ideal case for referral to some form of treatment, as an alternative to disciplinary measures, with the aim of ensuring that the employee returns to full productivity

More...

6. Can I test a member of my staff if they have had an accident at work and I suspect they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

If this course of action is included in your drugs and alcohol policy, the answer is yes. However, the test can only be done with the agreement of the member of staff in question and must be carried out by a properly-trained person, who must use a legally-defensible process to collect the sample.

More...

7. How do I search my warehouse for drugs?

The ideal way is to use a credible specialised organisation, with access to drug detector dogs, electronic drug detector equipment and trained search operatives. This will ensure that the search is carried out methodically and, if any substances are found, that they are dealt with appropriately.

More...