Combatting Drugs and Alcohol in the Transport Industry
The effects of drugs and alcohol on a driver’s ability are widely documented. There are lots of drink driving campaigns and charities out there that do a very good job of promoting their message and with recent changes to drug driving laws this issue has come under the spotlight as well. However, it’s not only common drugs and alcohol that can affect a driver’s performance. Prescription drugs, over the counter medicines and legal drugs can also impair ability behind the wheel.
With all these things to consider, what can managers in the transport industry do to ensure the safety of their staff? One thing that can be done is actively promoting a healthier lifestyle. Any job that requires sitting over long periods of time whilst having to concentrate can be difficult. It can see drivers trying all sorts of methods to stay alert such as legal highs or stimulant drugs. Extremely long shifts and hours of driving are not safe and should not be encouraged. Another small thing that can make a big difference is providing all drivers with bottled water. Recent studies by Loughborough University have shown that dehydration can be just as dangerous as drink driving and that even mild dehydration can negatively impact concentration and alertness.
To tackle things like drug or alcohol misuse in the transport industry (as well as any other workplace) there must be a strong workplace drug and alcohol policy in place. All staff should be made aware of the policy and know where they stand. Workplace drug and alcohol testing makes the workplace safer and also allows managers to do all they can to prevent incidents from happening. A proactive approach to this can save lives and offer peace of mind as managers know their drivers are fully fit to work.
In order to make a drug and alcohol testing policy work you need to ensure that you are testing for a large number of substances. With new synthetic, designer and therapeutic drugs available it’s important that employers use a reliable testing service with the ability to test for a wide variety of substances. Randox Testing Services offers the most comprehensive range of drugs of abuse testing on the market and can tailor testing to meet the needs of any company. As well as this, Randox Testing Services can help you put together your policy and assist with things such as training and education. For more information on the workplace drug and alcohol testing services provided click here.
It is the responsibility of managers in the transport industry to ensure all staff, passengers and cargo arrive safely at their destination. Be proactive in your approach. Look after your staff’s wellbeing and introduce a strong workplace drug and alcohol testing policy.
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