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Fitness For Work Leigh Cleary Senior Workforce Development Project Officer DAO. 80% of Australians consumed alcohol during the past 12 months 39% drank at short-term risk levels 20% drank at long-term risk levels
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39% drank at short-term risk levels
20% drank at long-term risk levels
35.4% had used cannabis at some time in their life and 10.3% had used in the previous 12 months
7.4% have used prescription drugs for non medical purposes at some time in their life, while 4.2% have used during the past 12 months
2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report
July 2011National AOD Perspective
The workplace has been seen as a potential site for strategies to reduce these harms, as the majority of people that have AOD problems are employed
The workplace itself can influence AOD use (+ve or -ve)
The majority of businesses in Australia, and elsewhere, do not have formal policies and constructive responses to AOD use within the workplace (Allsop et al.)Drugs, Alcohol, and Work…
It is estimated that the harm to others caused by Australian drinkers costs the community $20 billion a year, on top of the estimated $15.3 billion described above (Laslett et al. 2010)The Economic and Social Impacts of Alcohol
costs $3.5 billion annually
• Alcohol-related absenteeism costs between $437 million
and $1.2 billion annually
• Employee illnesses attributed to alcohol and other drug use costs $2 billion annually
• Additional hours worked as a consequence of having a heavy drinking colleague costs $453 million annually
VicHealth and NDRI: Reducing alcohol-related harm in the workplace An evidence review: summary reportThe Economic and Social Impacts of Alcohol
Recognition that alcohol and other drug use is as much a workplace issue as it is a community issue is the first step in creating meaningful and effective change through informed policy development and cultural shiftsResponsibility of employers
Drug and alcohol use can be a very complex issue to deal with and may require a number of different initiatives in order to deal with it effectively and in a cost efficient manner
There are a few questions that you (as an employer) must ask yourself…
What is drug use and how does it affect my workplace?
What are the factors that influence someone to use drugs or alcohol at work?
What kind of cost effective and efficient responses can we implement?So what can you do as an employer??
Key StakeholdersThe Drug and Alcohol Office Provides
Identify key issues
Identify deficits (policy/procedure/practices)
Identify factors that may contribute to the problem
Inform stakeholders of the Macro issues that the broader community in general face with relation to AOD use
Examine optionsPurpose of this consultation
Availability of alcohol or other drugs
Amount of perceived stress in one’s job
Isolated environment (away from family or friends)
Gender and Age
Management style (lack of supervision)Common workplace factors that may impact on AOD use
Predisposing issue (Why is this organisation susceptible to AOD issues?) –location?gender?work type?
Precipitating issue (Why has your agency decided to act?)
Perpetuating Factors (What factors maintain AOD use?)
Protective Factors (How can the organisation protect their staff?)Workplace AOD Model
Regular issues? Reporting?
Policies and Procedures?
EAP’s? Health Promotion?
Education? Role Modelling?
Low Supervision? Boredom?
Determine mutually acceptable goals
Ensure the policy is credibleAOD Policy: A Ten Step Guideline (Allsop, Ask, and Duffy, 2001)Step 1: Consultation
This must be clearly stated in the policy that is applies to management as well as employees, and that it applies to all worksites and external contractorsStep 2: Universal application to all employees
Unions may also have a vested interest in policy and should be part of the consultation processStep 3: Organisation Specific
Name the person or position that will approach the potentially drug-impaired workers
What counselling/treatment procedures are in place
Procedure of the interview following the initial approach
Details of disciplinary action that may be taken against the employeeStep 5: Instructions and procedures for responding to drug related incidents
The accuracy of test results is contingent on a range of factors, including the collection, handling, and analysis of samples
Collection procedures may be intrusive
In an effort to determine the suitability of drug testing such analysis must consider a number of issues, including: specific rates of use within the organisation or industry, the accuracy of tests and their inability to measure impairment as such; and the various direct and indirect costs of a testing programStep 6: Drug testing as an option
Out of hours conduct: Morality
Very few cost-benefit analyses done to evaluate effectiveness.
Because it takes several hours for drug metabolites to appear in urine, drug tests may miss drug users who are under the influence of drugs at the time the test is given. Drug impairment is the employers primary concern
Privacy concerns – intrusive nature of the test, the creation of a record, use (and possible abuse) of that data.More on testing
Such environments are achieved by gradual and informed introduction of change
Policy that is introduced too quick, or does not fit within the culture of the agency may prove to be an impediment to effective implementationStep 7: Change should be gradual and informed
Ongoing regular communication with employees is essential for successful implementation
Human resource literature supports the inclusion of this ingredient and contends that communication strategies are more effective if conducted through a variety of channels using strategies that are appropriate to the target audienceStep 8: Publicise the policy in an appropriate and equitable way
Supervisors may need extra support to understand their roles and responsibilities as employers
Roles and responsibilities must be disseminated to all staff, and especially during new employee inductions (written proof) and at regular staff meetings as a ‘standing item’Step 9: Engender employee compliance through the definition of roles and responsibilities, and education and training
Should include information about personal drug use, as well as instruction for employees and safety committees on dealing with drug-impaired employees
Provide staff training sessions regularlyStep 9: Engender employee compliance through the definition of roles and responsibilities, and education and training
Potential evaluation consideration are;
The extent to which the policy implementation applies to all employees
The achievement of anticipated outcomes, such as the identification of drug impaired employees, and the safe and responsible use of drugs
Evaluate the treatment and intervention model set out in the policyStep 10: Evaluate the implementation process
Employee deemed “not fit for work” will be sent home and informally interviewed the following day
Informal interview about reasons for poor work performance and support offered to overcome any fitness for work issues
If work performance continues to be poor proceed to interview #2 (formal). If work performance has improved, no further action required
Interview #3 and the Final interview follow this process in the same fashion (documented), with dismissal being a last resort for the employer.What happens when a fitness for work procedure is acted upon?
Drug and Alcohol testing has limits, and should always be carried out as part of comprehensive alcohol and other drugs policy at a workplace.
We need effective and comprehensive policies and procedures
We need to understand the importance of Consultation
We need to be led by the evidenceConclusion