Sunday, October 16, 2011

How Drugs and Alcohol Can Affect the Workplace

As well as having a negative affect on our society, drugs and alcohol also affect the workplace. There are employees who turn up to work affected by either drugs or alcohol, and sometimes even both. As an employer there are ways to deal with these problems, and getting the advice from Safety Management Consulting is a good start. Absences An employee who is having problems with either alcohol or drugs will often be absent from work. This is a problem for both them and the company. Through missing many days of work they will use up any sick leave benefits, so when they need to take leave for genuinely being unwell they won't be paid, and eventually an employer will be forced to let them go. For the company an employee being absent too often has a negative impact because they have to pay sick leave or other benefits for days where work is not done, and the level of productivity decreases, therefore effecting profits. Accidents Those that suffer from substance abuse have an increased risk of workplace accidents. Not only are they a risk to themselves but also to other staff. Somebody who is affected by drugs or alcohol is not in a fit condition to use machinery of any kind, and many workplaces involve the use of hazardous equipment that should only be used when a person is fully aware. Reduced productivity Someone who is affected by drugs or alcohol is not going to be able to work at their full capacity and if this continues there will be a reduction in overall productivity leading to a reduction in company profits. An inefficient staff member can have a flow on effect throughout the whole company. If any staff members are waiting on the completion of part of a task which an affected person can not perform, it can slow down the whole job, which may in fact not get completed on time or at all. Erratic behaviour A person who is affected by drugs or alcohol may be experiencing erratic or even violent behaviour towards other staff members or managers. In this instance it may become dangerous to have them at work and management is given no option other than to send them home or even fire them. An affected person will be unpredictable, unreliable, will often be late or absent and in this state will not be of any benefit to the company. Staff feeling unsafe Other staff members may feel unsafe or uncomfortable around an intoxicated person, and it is certainly not fair on staff to have to work in these sort of conditions where they feel threatened or uneasy. Staff may feel that they have to pick up the slack for this person and this can lead to job dissatisfaction and dysfunction within the workplace. Management has a responsibility to their staff and cannot have employees feeling unsafe. Identifying and dealing with staff with substance abuse is something that cannot be ignored.

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