Perfecting Policy – Implications for your Workplace

In 1992, The National Campaign Against Drug Abuse released profoundly important statistical evidence revealing a relationship between the top 600 companies in Australia and the existence of some form of workplace restriction on alcohol use. The study, conducted by Richmond, Heather, Holt and Hu, revealed either formal or informal limitations had been implemented and applied in the workplace in relation to alcohol and substance, and pointed the way forward for more sophisticated policy approaches to AOD (alcohol and other drug)  in the work environment. [1]

CMM Technology has long been aware of the need for comprehensive and thorough AOD policies in business and industry in both public and private sectors and has developed expert consultancy services that aim to deliver the very best policy and procedures packages, Australia-wide.

Initially, AOD policy was developed in accord with a singular “problem drinker” or “deviance model” approach. As research and interest in the area has developed in the late 20th and early 21st Century, the need for policy that moves beyond the regular problem drinker, to policy that actually encompasses a wider sweep of all employees and workers has been deemed more efficacious. As Pidd and Berry et al stress in their Australian Institute of Health and Welfare paper, “what is in fact required is greater attention to the ordinary worker, at all levels throughout a given workplace. It is the ordinary Australian worker, who drinks in a typically Australian way (i.e. with occasional bouts of risky drinking) who warrants greater attention and prevention effort.”[2]

Such a primary prevention approach incorporates a multi-faceted model that moves beyond the problem drinker or drug user and focuses on workplace culture, norms and values and community backdrop to the business or industry. As Kreitman has noted, the highest risk to workplace safety because they are more numerous, is the group comprising “infrequent heavy drinkers” – run of the mill individuals like you and me, who up until recently had been overlooked in the development of AOD policy approaches.[3]

CMM Technology offers consultancy services that accord with this model approach to AOD policy development. Incorporating consultancy services and across the board drug-screening facilities that are tailored to your business needs, CMM Technology can help you modernise your AOD procedures in accord with the prevailing Australian business and cultural backdrop and research. Phone CMM Technology on 08 9204 2500.

[1] Richmond R, Heather N, Holt P & Hu W 1992. Workplace policies and programs for

tobacco, alcohol and other drugs in Australia. Canberra: National Campaign Against

Drug Abuse, Monograph Series No.24.

[2] Pidd, K, Berry JG, Harrison JE, Roche AM, Driscoll TR, Newson RS. 2006. Alcohol and

work: patterns of use, workplace culture and safety. Injury Research and Statistics Series

Number  28. (AIHW cat no. INJCAT 82) Adelaide: AIHW

[3] Kreitman N 1986. Alcohol consumption and the preventive paradox. British Journal of

Addiction 81 (3):353–63.

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