Drug use in the workplace is a serious safety concern. From the obvious hazards of operating machinery while impaired to a simple inability to successfully execute one’s job duties, illegal and prescription drug abuse impacts the effectiveness and bottom line of American industry.
In 2004, OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-free Workplace Program (Working Partners) formed the Drug Free Workplace Alliance, an agreement which:
“[R]ecognizes the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to foster safer, drug-free and more healthful American workplaces and protect employees' health and safety.”
How prevalent is the potential for drug use in the workplace? According to the results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, a large percentage of illegal drug users is employed:
“Of the 19.9 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2011, 13.1 million (65.7 percent) were employed either full or part time.”
And there’s no need to restrict workplace concern to illegal drugs only. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA),
“Illicit drugs and misuse of alcohol are not the only substances that can affect health and safety in workplaces. Prescription drugs, when used without a prescription and without the supervision of a doctor, can also have adverse effects. Workers can become sleepy or anxious or depressed or confused, from the improper use of prescription drugs. As important, when these drugs are used improperly, they can pose risks to employees, their coworkers, and the overall workplace itself. The risks associated with nonmedical use of prescription drugs in workplaces can escalate when workers’ jobs require caution and safety to prevent injury, such as those of transportation workers, assembly line workers, construction workers, nuclear-power plant workers, and the like.”
For the prevention of illegal and prescription drug use on the job, the Drug Free Workplace Alliance is committed to“… educating workers on safety and productivity hazards created by the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in the workplace.” And safety training plays a big role in that process.
Summit Training Source offers a number of drug awareness courses, including two online courses that comply with the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Rule 49 CFR Part 40 to help prevent the consequences of drug and alcohol related violations and fines. DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations require mandatory testing for all safety sensitive transportation employees in the aviation, trucking, maritime, railroad, mass transit, and pipeline industries. Employees and supervisors must understand the importance of drug- and alcohol-free employees for safety on the road, as well as the rights to requirements for testing for both employees and supervisors.
Also available are Summit’s Drug Testing Awareness courses, which create an awareness and respect for the negative consequences of using alcohol and other drugs on the job, reducing the hazards and associated consequences.
Help create a healthy environment at your workplace. Give us a call at 800.447.3177 to learn more about bringing drug abuse education courses to your company.