When it comes to workplace safety, education is the most important facet of incident prevention. Employees need to know safety procedures and protocol that pertains to their individual jobs and being educated on the impact of drugs on individuals and the workplace is just as important as knowing how to operate machinery safely. Due to the delicacy of the topic, drug prevention and screening are rarely mentioned and most people are unaware of company policies as well as other facts that may help them prevent incidents. Taking a proactive approach to the prevention of workplace drug abuse and misuse will not only help prevent issues, but it will enlighten your employees on why certain drug prevention policies are in place.
Over the counter drug misuse is a very common threat to workplace safety, for example. Most consumers fail to read the warnings and information on the packaging of the medicines that they purchase and due to lack of education, they are unaware of how even the simplest of cold medicines can affect their ability to work. Educating your workforce will bring this information to light and could prevent issues that result from the misuse of medicine or drug abuse.
- Informing employees of the effects of illegal drugs and the warning signs that a person exhibits when under the influence may also increase general awareness in the workplace. When employees know what to look for, they will be able to spot potential dangers to the overall safety of the work environment. Proper detection of a possible safety threat could be the difference between preventing an incident and having to deal with its aftermath.
- Letting employees know the legal responsibility of your company to maintain a safe workplace may also decrease the amount of resistance that your employees may have toward your drug screening policies. Showing workers the possible monetary damages that could be incurred as the result of any drug related incident will address any doubts they have in the policies.
- Affirming that drug screens are confidential and discreet might also eliminate some of the future awkwardness that could occur when an employee is asked to submit to a drug screen either randomly or as the result of an incident.
- Frequently educating employees on your drug screening policies will also help communicate what those policies are and why they are in place so that they understand if they are asked to submit to a drug test that it is company policy and nothing personal.
There are always benefits to educating your workforce about the use of drugs in the workplace. Even if it only serves to increase awareness, it helps share the burden of incident prevention.
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