Keep workplace safer by detecting alcohol abuse
- By Jen McGregor
- Apr 25, 2017
Affecting nearly 14 million Americans — one in every 13 adults are abusing alcohol or are alcoholics — alcohol is the most abused drug in the country. Employers often don’t realize an employee has a problem with alcohol use for many years.
Employers pay a price for employees abusing alcohol. Businesses can face higher health care premiums. More than 70 percent of substance abusers are employed. These employees account for six times the number of absences of their co-workers, are four times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and take triple the amount of sick leave.
Identifying alcohol use in the workplace is the responsibility of the supervisor who is trained to follow the reasonable suspicion process, including:
- Observing and documenting signs and symptoms of alcohol use
- Confirming the indicators
- Confronting the employee in a private area
- Ordering the alcohol test
- Following-up with the employee to offer assistance services
Of course, alcohol is legal outside the workplace. Being able to detect alcohol use in the workplace and taking action is the key to maintaining a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. A safer, more productive workforce is the result.
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