Implementation of a drug-free workplace is a fundamental component in strengthening and most importantly protecting one’s business.
Employees are as well protected from the dangers associated with drug abuse such as violence and injuries. The implementation of drug-free workplace programs differ in regard to size of an organization. Basically, the approach towards development of these programs is a stepwise process that requires a lot of evaluation by the employer. First of all, the employer needs to assess the needs and requirements of his business.
For instance, organizations running projects funded by the federal are required to have drug-free workplace policy in place. This should include a written policy, employee training and education. Employers should also consider employees holding safety-sensitive positions as well as the possibility of substance abuse occurrence in the organization to guide them in implementation of these policies. The employer should also consider the availability of resources in regard to the size of his business. This is because some programs such a drug testing and health promotion may not be favorable to a small organization. An effective program should consist of written policies such as the basis behind the development of the program and how it was developed. Expectations by the employer on employees behavior should also be indicated.
It is also necessary to provide the employees with information on the prohibited drugs as well as undesired behaviors in the workplace. Information on consequences in case of policy violation should be made available to make everyone understand the seriousness of the program. Ways of handling appeals and determining a violation should, too, be put in place (Franklin, 2010, p. 1). Employee confidentiality should be maintained and fairness among all employees especially when they request for help. Efforts should be made to help the employees abide by the policy requirements since most drug abusers are addicts and might have difficulty avoiding the drugs.
Employers should consider providing employee assistant programs which are programs sponsored by the business aimed at offering service to employees as well as their families. Some organizations may even go to the extent of addressing health and wellbeing of employees besides dealing with problems associated with alcohol and other drug abuse. Some organizations especially the large businesses offer internal employee assistance programs but small businesses can unite with their health providers to give external services to employees at cost effective rates. Employee assistance programs are important where the largest population of employees is faced with the risk of social and disturbing problems as well as drug abuse (Franklin, 2010, p. 1).
These services include employee education, assessment and follow up and most importantly, individual counseling for motivation. For a drug-free workplace program to be successful, employees need to be educated on drug abuse consequences and supervisors trained to watch their progress. The education program should focus on all employees no matter the organization level they are in. This program should discuss the accessibility of assistance by all employees and how their problems in duty execution will be dealt with (Franklin, 2010, p. 1). Besides the assistance program, an employee awareness program should be included as well to educate them on the effects of drug abuse and the benefits of a drug free life. Employers who have put into place the drug-free workplace policy enjoy some benefits that they would not have noted were it not for the program.
Cases of employees’ nonattendance, theft and occupational injuries are reduced. On the other hand, productivity increases as well as moral values. Employees experience reduced use of medical benefits due to better health conditions (Franklin, 2010, p. 1). Premium costs for workers’ compensation reduce as well. The overall effect is a secure workplace with enhanced productivity and comprehensive service delivery.
(2010). Do drug-free workplace programs prevent occupational injuries? Retrieved November 27, 2010, from,http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4149/is_1_39/ai_113378795/