Where Is He?

Absenteeism is an ongoing concern for industry.

The work day is just beginning, and management has a plan for the day’s schedule and tasks. Everything is ready to go and the team is keen to get on with the job. Then…there’s the phone call…or…worst case scenario…the absence of one!   One of the key employees has not arrived.

The job – which has a pressing deadline – will not be completed on time.

Sound familiar?

In the 1990’s a number of American reports focused on the link between days off and alcohol and drug use. Hoffman and Larison’s research showed that “field studies have consistently linked alcohol and drug abuse to higher rates of absenteeism; they also provide evidence of an association between alcohol and perhaps other drug use and increased rates of accidents.”[1]

Organisation and business productivity is connected to the health of employees, and the Australian Bureau of statistics maintains unapproved absences and sick leave account for just over 35% of all leave taken.[2] While the figure is down when compared to twenty years ago, the ongoing cost to business remains high.

Four Major Causes of Absenteeism are:

  • Balancing work/life issues
  • Stress
  • An entitlement mentality
  • Personal needs/family issues.

In many cases drug and alcohol issues are directly or indirectly related to these. A healthy balance of work and life issues, a good stress management approach and also the Australian “entitlement mentality” which has been associated with the “three day Aussie weekend” and a “night out on the town” are all impacted by the excessive use of AOD’s.  One solution proposed by the NSW Industrial Relations Commission is “the implementation of a preventative occupational health and safety strategy.”[3]

Random alcohol and drug testing is now incorporated into many Occupational Health and Safety procedures in Australia. And with a reduction in the cost of drug and alcohol testing equipment and procedures over the past ten, its use is becoming an economically viable and sensible deterrent to absenteeism due to drug and alcohol use.[4]

Good performance and lowered rates in absenteeism are a must for industry and business. “Good performance also means not harming the organisation (through carelessness and wastefulness….) Therefore, to ensure productivity and quality of work and to protect himself against harm the employer must be able to monitor aspects of the employee’s work.[5]

CMM Technology is at the forefront of a modern and cost-effective solution to absenteeism and good performance. CMM Technology is able to supply high quality testing products that form part of your much needed preventative strategy.

Telephone CMM Technology on 08 9204 2500


[1] Hoffman, J., and Larison, C. 1998. Drugs and Workplace Report. Chicago: National Opinion Research Centre of Chicago.

[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics. http://www.abs.gov.au

[3] Industrial Relations Commission of NSW.gov.au Managing People: Employment Essentials.

[4] Perrson, A.J. and Hanson, S.O 2003. Privacy at Work – Ethical Criteria. Journal of Business Ethics,42(1): 59-70.

[5] Ibid.

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