Drugs & Alcohol in the Workplace


Drugs & Alcohol in the Workplace:

According to Public Health Action, 167,000 years of working life were lost in 2015 due to alcohol and alcohol costs the UK between £21 billion and £52 billion a year.  In people aged 15-49 in England, alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for early death, ill health & disability.

Alcohol and drug testing programmes have grown as a result of practice transferred from the USA and elsewhere, and it is becoming more commonplace in the UK, particularly in safety-critical environments. Drug and alcohol testing is now more common whether as a pre-employment screen, random test, for cause test or as part of some regular medical assessments.

A significant proportion of adults who are at risk for problems with alcohol and illicit drug use are employed. The workplace provides good opportunities for public health interventions.

The alcohol health alliance had also supported Alcohol Concern’s dry January. Did anyone take part and if so we hope it was successful. Find out more: www.dryjanuary.org.uk 

Healthwork Advice and Discussion:

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a duty on an employer to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees. This means an employer can be prosecuted if the employer knowingly allows an employee to continue working while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  It is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 for any person knowingly to permit the production, supply or use of controlled substances on workplace premises except in specified circumstances (e.g. when they have been prescribed by a doctor).

Healthwork has fully trained occupational health nurses and physicians who have all been trained in screening for drugs & alcohol.  Healthwork recently ran an in house bespoke Drug and Alcohol screening training course (delivered by a highly reputable Toxicology Consultant).  Healthwork regularly assesses the competency of its clinicians to ensure they are up to date with all regulatory screening procedures and processes.

We provide a variety of drug and alcohol services such as collection services and analysis of results, alcohol breathalyser testing, scheduled and unscheduled drug and alcohol testing, Medical Review Officer services, case management of drug and alcohol cases, training for employees and managers, alcohol related health checks and wellness clinics, and strategic advice about policies and procedures for employers in relation to managing drug and alcohol issues in the workplace. 

If you would like further details on how Healthwork could assist you in this area, or are interested in attending our next planned training course, visit our website www.healthworkltd.com or alternatively contact us on 0161 831 9701.