Do you have a drug or alcohol problem in your business?

Group of people drinking champagneDrug and alcohol is still a major concern in many workplace. It can have a negative impact on businesses and can create a range of problems with serious consequences.

Employees with drug and alcohol problems can cause injury to themselves and others, lose their job or family, and damage their physical and mental health. Work colleagues can also be faced with an increased risk of injury or harm.

A business can pay dearly in terms of injuries, absenteeism, lost production, poor performance, low morale, workers compensation, rehabilitation and losses associated with inefficiency and damage to plant equipment and other property.

If the problem is not managed efficiently, the implications for the business can be huge including discrimination claims, lost work time and injury.

Because of the issues surrounding drugs and alcohol, professional guidance is often helpful as it can be legally difficult.

In the eyes of the law, both employers and employees are accountable because Australian law requires all employers and employees to take active steps to make their workplaces safe.

All employers should have a drug and alcohol policy as this is a good first step towards putting employers in a stronger position when the time comes to deal with drug and alcohol-related incidents in the workplace.

Employers should ensure that the policy is reasonable, that all employees are aware of. and understand the policy, and that the policy is consistently applied.

Taking these steps will assist an employer to minimise the legal risks resulting from drug and alcohol-related incidents, and will put an employer in a more prepared state to respond to relevant incidents.

WorkCover NSW has developed guidelines for employers.  Visit for further information or contact Safety Services Australia 02 9836 3100 or