How to Establish a Drug-Free Environment in the Workplace

A lot employers these days have already realised how important it is to have a drug-free environment in the workplace.

With all the trouble attached to drug-related mishaps and incidents in the workplace, the decision by employers to implement a workplace drug policy is a wise one. Some employers, however, don’t know where to begin just yet.

Here are some tips for employers who wish to establish a drug-free environment in the workplace for the first time.

Decide on what you want to accomplish

What do you intend to accomplish when you implement a workplace drug policy? Do you want to catch those who come to work impaired by drugs? Do you want to be able to identify who are drug users in general among your employees? Are you planning to conduct pre-hire testing to make sure you don’t get to hire a drug user? These are the questions you need to consider and think about.

While pre-hire testing is easy and implementing it can be relatively inexpensive, regular drug tests for current employees can be costly, so make sure you have the budget for a consistent implementation of your workplace drug policy before actually implementing it.

Communicate your workplace drug policy to everyone

When you are done with drug safety policy development, make sure you communicate it clearly to everyone within the organisation.

For a small business owner, conveying the drug-free workplace message quickly and clearly can be easily done. All they need to do is implement an education and awareness program which will explain not only the pertinent details of the entire workplace drug policy, but also information on the adverse effects of drug abuse in the workplace.

Managers and supervisors can undergo drug training programs that will help them communicate the drug policy to everyone as clearly as possible.

Clearly state the actions to be taken if someone fails a drug test

If your workplace drug policy includes drug testing, then you need to state the consequences of failing a drug test. That said, you don’t really have to immediately terminate an employee if he or she tests positive for drug use.

You can allow these workers to undergo evaluation and treatment, and forge with the said employees a return-to-work agreement that involves periodic future testing just to make sure that they are, indeed, drug-free.

Get legal counsel before implementing a workplace drug policy

Talking to your lawyers and getting them to review every single word of your workplace drug policy is perhaps one of the most important steps you have to take before its implementation.

Remember, all your employees have rights, and if they feel that your workplace drug policy has violated those rights in any way, you might find yourself at the receiving end of a lawsuit.

That’s why you need to make sure that the workplace drug policy is airtight and that your workers have been thoroughly educated about it. Using reasonable methods, following established testing procedures, and doing the tests right will also help you avoid litigation, which will always be costly no matter what the outcome.

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