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How To Get An Effective Drug And Alcohol Policy
How To Get An Effective Drug And Alcohol Policy

How To Get An Effective Drug And Alcohol Policy

Blog and Opinions Red Slashes Feb 2, 2016
By: Wayne St. John

Antique booksYour drug and alcohol policy sets the stage for a successful fit-for-duty program. Having a documented drug and alcohol policy provides a framework for dealing with the difficult, and often times sensitive, issues surrounding substance abuse, medical conditions, and related stress and fatigue. With a policy in place, your employees know what is expected and what to do to help ensure that the workplace is safe and drug-free.

Creating a policy, however, isn’t as easy as some may believe. Due to the sensitive and detail-oriented information that is necessary for an effective policy, constructing one can often be difficult to do. There is sometimes a fear of missing something important, or not being clear or concise enough. Though not impossible to do on your own, it is suggested to get a third party member to come in and assist with the development of the policy. This will help in streamlining the process and creating content customized to your needs. The goal should be to have a drug and alcohol policy that is designed to fit the company’s drug and alcohol testing program.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY BENEFITS

Although there is nothing that states how a policy should be written, it should be noted that there are many benefits of having one done right. An effective drug and alcohol policy can benefit companies in many ways, including:

  • Ensuring that everyone in the company understands the requirements and consequences related to substance abuse
  • Providing guidelines for balancing safety and privacy
  • Ensuring your drug and alcohol testing program is defensible
  • Serving as the foundation for a program that can lead to fewer accidents and absences, decreased turnover, and increased productivity

POLICY DEVELOPMENT & IMPLEMENTATION

There are certain things that you may want to consider before diving into the development of your drug and alcohol policy. While creating the policy, it is important to ensure that it is in tune with the goals and objectives the company has. It is a good idea to write out the reasons in which you are creating the policy, as this can help in aligning the goals. Some reasons for implementation may include:

  • The desire to mitigate safety risk and ensure due diligence
  • A recent event on-site
  • A site requirement
  • An employee incident

POLICY METRICS

Included in the policy should be some kind of metric for tracking performance. A few examples may include:

  • Monitoring changes in absence rates
  • Recording the number of incidents occurred
  • Keeping track of the number of refusals

Performance tracking can allow you to see a link between substance abuse and incidents. It also gives you the opportunity to modify or fine tune your drug and alcohol testing program to ensure it meets your needs.

To further understand the importance of a good drug and alcohol policy, read our blog about the 7 Keys to a Successful Drug & Alcohol Policy.

Questions or Comments?

Do you have any questions about what we wrote. Let us know and we'll get back to you!
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