Why Carry Out Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing?
Drug abuse or alcohol misuse impairs an individual’s ability to perform normal, routine tasks, as well as affecting their ability to interact socially. Altering their behaviour, it can have a damaging effect on all areas of their life, with their workplace being no exception.
With the widespread availability of drugs and alcohol, there is an increased risk of substance abuse in the workplace leading to huge ramifications for a business and its employees. Jeopardising the safety of not only the user, but also their co-workers and in some cases the general public, it affects the whole business environment and puts those present at serious risk of harm.
As a major cause of workplace accidents, employers need to prioritise the management of substance abuse and reduce the potential impact. In addition employers have a duty to protect their employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) which outlines that employers must ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work.
Consequences of knowingly allowing an employee who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to continue working could lead to legal action being taken; under The Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) it is an offence for an employer to knowingly permit the use of controlled substances on their premises. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the employer.