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Top 10 tips for meeting drug and alcohol legal requirements for happy and healthy workplaces

Posted by Ann Caluori | Mon, 16/05/2022 - 11:19

Top 10 tips for meeting drug and alcohol legal requirements for happy and healthy workplaces by Toxicology Consultant Helen Vangikar:

  1. Create the policy in collaboration with key stakeholders. Review the drug and alcohol/substance misuse policy on a regular basis such as every 2 years.
  2. Consult industry best practice where possible. If not align with well recognised industry sector within country e.g. Network Rail [UK], GCAA [UAE] etc.
  3. Make sure the point of contact devices only tests for the drugs in the policy. Drug testing is not a fishing expedition, cannot test for all drugs, it is informed consent.
  4. Calibrate and verify breathalysers according to manufacturer’s specifications.
  5. Choice is an important element, minimum of 1 from 3; choice of collection kit, choice of point of contact device, breathalyser mouthpiece etc.
  6. Temperature at the time of collection, creatinine and pH when testing are the minimum adulteration checks whether point of contact or back to laboratory testing.
  7. Use accredited service provider [laboratory and/or collection and/or breathalyser], accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, check status regularly on the UKAS website.
  8. Give regular training to employees, their line managers and HR on the policy content and procedures. Train line managers and HR in dealing with difficult conversations, especially around drugs and alcohol and how the policy will impact on work and family life.
  9. Provide support via occupational health services, wellbeing programme and an employee assistance programme etc.
  10. Review existing policies and procedures around discipline, capability, home worker, whistle blower and vexatious claims, with an emphasis on drugs and alcohol.