Ice Blue Medical provide work-place drug and alcohol testing, policy advice and substance misuse awareness training. Employers must adhere to a number of legal obligations concerning drugs and alcohol in the work place. It’s recommended that all companies have written policies in place to ensure that any substance misuse issues are dealt with effectively and consistently.

Drugs in the work place.

According to the 2013/14 Crime Survey for England and Wales, almost 1 in 10 (8.8%) adults aged between 16 and 59 had taken an illicit drug in the previous 12 months. Drug misuse can be a serious problem not only for the person abusing the drug, but also for the company where they work and, sometimes, for their colleagues too. Successfully tackling drug misuse can benefit both your business and your employees. For example, you can:

  • Save on the cost of having to recruit and train new employees to replace those who leave/are sacked because of drug misuse;
  • Reduce the cost of absenteeism/impaired productivity;
  • Enhance public perception of your organisation as a responsible employer;
  • Reduce the risk of accidents caused by impaired judgement.

Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees. A company can be prosecuted for knowingly allowing a member of staff to continue working under the influence of drugs. Ice Blue Medical offer a wide range of drug testing services using independently audited, and accredited, laboratories. A screening programme can be used in various ways.

Companies may choose to implement it:

As part of a selection process for job applicants;

  • To test all or part of the workforce routinely or on a random basis;
  • In specific circumstances e.g. following an accident or serious incident.

All organisations, whether large or small, will benefit from an agreed policy on substance misuse. Our experts will help develop one tailored to your company’s specific requirements. Education programmes for managers are particularly important too. Our experienced teams provide training packages targeted both at identifying drug misuse teaching line-managers how to deal with workers who seek help – the earlier the problem is dealt with, the greater the chance of rehabilitation. Signs of drug misuse include:

  • Sudden mood changes;
  • Unusual irritability or aggression;
  • Poor time-keeping;
  • Increased short-term sickness absence;
  • Deterioration in relationships with colleagues/customers etc.

These are only indications, and all of the signs above may be caused by other factors.

Alcohol in the work-place

According to the Health and Safety Executive, 90 per cent of the UK’s top organisations reported in a recent survey that alcohol was a problem for their company.

The reasons for this were:

  • Loss of productivity and poor performance;
  • Lateness and absenteeism;
  • Safety concerns;
  • Effect on team morale;
  • Poor discipline;
  • Adverse effects on company image.

Drinking is estimated to cause 3-5% of all absences from work, and up to 14 million working days are lost in the UK every year as a result of alcohol. It’s also known to affect judgement and physical co-ordination, increasing the risk of accidents. Drinking before coming on shift and/or at lunchtime can affect an employee’s performance, and the effects of heavy drinking the previous night can last well into the next day.

How much is it costing YOUR business?

Employers can be prosecuted for knowingly allowing staff to continue working under the influence of excess alcohol. As with drugs, an agreed policy on drinking is extremely beneficial for all organisations. We can assist in drawing up a sensible written alcohol policy and, if required, a joint Drug and Alcohol Policy. We also offer screening and testing as a way of controlling alcohol problems in the work place. It can be used in various ways, similar to the drug tests (described above). For example:

  • As part of a selection process for those applying to join the company;
  • Testing the workforce either routinely or randomly;
  • In specific situations, such as immediately after an accident;
  • To monitor a particular problem.

For further information on our Drug and Alcohol testing services, please do not hesitate to contact us.