Several incidents in the past week or so have driven home the critical importance of every business having a Substance Abuse Policy. Whether a business is big (Proctor and Gamble) or small (Ned’s Auto Body Garage) a substance abuse policy can protect the company, its employees and customers.
Good substance abuse policies contain the policy itself as well as several other components.
The Policy itself: This ought to be written to benefit the company. It can be strict or lax but should clearly spell out the guidelines and possible consequences for violating the company’s policy.
Supervisory Training: Those in a position to supervise other employees must be trained on the policy. In addition elements such as reasonable suspicion, actual knowledge and access to employee assistance should be covered. This training gives the policy grip and yet can help establish helpful boundaries as well.
Employee Training: Employees need to know the policy and how it may impact them. This includes prohibitions on substance use at work, self reporting restrictions and availability and what’s required if they violate the policy.
Employee Assistance Program: This key part of the policy gives those with a substance abuse issue a way to address it before they face termination. EAP often provides employees a way to self-report or work on a problem before an employee is subject to being fired or suspended. It also can be a useful part of a relapse prevention plan.
Drug/Alcohol Testing: Companies can do as little or as much as they desire. But frequently random and/or follow-up testing serves as both a deterrent to substance use and a meaningful tool that a company can use to document compliance. While this may prove a little more expensive for the company, it is frequently much cheaper in the long run!
All companies would be well served to have a substance abuse policy. It is an effective way to help employees while limiting the exposure to liability and law suits. Policies can be strict or flexible but ultimately should serve the needs of the company. If you have any question about substance abuse policies, contact Heartland Intervention, LLC at 877/752-8811.