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Substance Abuse In the Workplace What Supervisors Need to Know
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Session Objectives You will be able to: Identify the harmful effects of substance abuse in the workplace Enforce requirements of our policy and the law Recognize signs of an abuse problem Take effective steps to assist employees in getting help, while protecting other workers and the organization
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Session Outline Scope and cost of the problem Requirements of the law and our policy Your role in dealing with substance abuse Confidentiality and documentation Detecting substance abuse on the job Taking effective action
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 The Scope of the Problem Substance abuse is a serious workplace issue 10 percent of workers have a problem Most substance abusers are employed Anyone can be a substance abuser
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 The Cost of Substance Abuse Substance abuse costs more than $50 billion annually Abusers are: Less productive Lose more time from work Abusers have more accidents
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 The Cost of Substance Abuse (cont.) 40 percent of industrial fatalities are linked to substance abuse 47 percent of all occupational accidents can be attributed to substance abuse Substance abuse also leads to theft and crime in the workplace
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Drug-Free Workplace Act Written policy Awareness program Reporting requirements Disciplinary action Rehabilitation
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 OSH Act Duty to provide employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm Substance abuse is such a hazard
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Our Policy Prohibits the possession, use, or sale of drugs or alcohol on company premises Forbids working under the influence Provides assistance for employees who want help for an abuse problem Imposes discipline on those who refuse help
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 You Play a Key Role Promote awareness of the problem Communicate company policy about substance abuse in the workplace Monitor employee performance Refer abusers to professionals for assistance Administer appropriate discipline
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Confidentiality Employee privacy requirements People in the information loop Beneficial effects of confidentiality
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Documentation Documenting performance Recording on-the-job incidents Recognizing patterns of behavior Increasing the possibility of early intervention Keeping a record of supporting actions and recommendations
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Substance Abuse Basics Questions?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Detecting Substance Abuse Performance monitoring is the key to detection Abuse may not be obvious Abusers try to hide their problem
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Detecting Substance Abuse (cont.) Co-workers may be reluctant to speak up Family and friends may be involved in secrecy and denial
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Alcohol Abuse Social drinking Symptomatic drinking Addictive drinking: the final stage
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Early Warning Signs Inexplicable fall-off of work efficiency Frequent tardiness Excessive use of sick days Sudden decisions to use vacation time Involvement in accidents, near misses, and errors Heavy use of breath sweeteners
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Early Warning Signs (cont.) Fatigue Weight loss Facial changes Mental slowdown
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Impairment in Functioning Low tolerance for frustration Impulsiveness Know it all attitude Anxiety Oversensitivity
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Impairment in Functioning (cont.) Isolation Defiance Mood swings Rationalization Dependency
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Drug Abuse Profile of a drug abuser Forms of drug abuse Safety concerns Productivity and quality concerns
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Early Warning Signs Otherwise inexplicable changes in performance Excessive tardiness and absenteeism Increased number of accidents or near misses Changes in appearance Attitudinal and behavioral extremes
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Early Warning Signs (cont.) Mood swings False confidence Mental slowdown Secrecy
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Common Drugs Marijuana Cocaine Heroin Amphetamines (a.k.a. speed or uppers) Prescription drugs
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Detecting Substance Abuse Questions?
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Be Prepared to Act Never ignore a problem Talk to the employee privately Give the employee an opportunity to respond
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Be Prepared to Act (cont.) Alert the employee to programs within and outside the organization that can help Emphasize that employee must meet established standards Warn about possible discipline Monitor performance and behavior
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 How to Handle a Crisis Signs of a crisis Call in your manager or another supervisor Quietly remove the employee Recommend a medical evaluation
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 How to Handle a Crisis (cont.) If the employee refuses medical evaluation Document the incident
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Substance Abuse Checklist 1.Familiar with our policy?YES NO 2.Understand requirements of Drug-Free Workplace Act? YES NO 3.Remind employees about policy? YES NO 4.Distribute and post information about substance abuse?YES NO
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Checklist (cont.) 5.Know how to refer employees with abuse problems? YES NO 6.Know what to do in an alcohol- or drug-related emergency?YES NO 7.Familiar with the symptoms of alcohol abuse?YES NO
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Checklist (cont.) 8.Familiar with the symptoms of drug abuse? YES NO 9.Document incidents that might be alcohol- or drug-related and maintain confidentiality? YES NO
© Business & Legal Reports, Inc. 0909 Key Points to Remember Substance abuse threatens the safety and security of our company and employees Never ignore suspected abuse Take immediate action under our policy to get abusers the help they need and to protect your other workers and the organization
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