In a recent issue of the quarterly Workplace Issues Magazine, WorkSafe Tasmania has shed light on just how serious of the issue of alcohol and drugs in the workplace and the community in general is.
According to the article, “Alcohol and other drug use is a serious and complex problem. It contributes to thousands of deaths, substantial illness, disease and injury, social and family disruption, workplace concerns, violence, crime and community safety issues.”
Specifically in the workplace, the costs of alcohol and drug use in Tasmania can be high. Areas impacted include:
- Incident costs
The article states that alcohol use in Australia alone is estimated to contribute to 5% of all workplace fatalities, $3.5 billion in lost productivity costs a year and absenteeism costs that range from around $450 million to $1.2 billion.
“The combination of alcohol and other drugs (excluding tobacco) in the financial year 2004–05 accounted for approximately $5.2 billion in lost productivity costs.”
What can Tasmanian workplaces do to curb issues relating to drugs and alcohol?
As stated in the article, the good news is that there is much that Tasmanian workplaces can do to curb the damage done by drugs and alcohol. In fact, workplaces are in a unique position to address issues, as they can expose employees to health promotion and other strategies that their employees would otherwise not have the advantage of experiencing.
Ways that workplaces can prevent and reduce issues of drugs and alcohol use include:
- Developing and implementing a drug and alcohol policy.
- Providing education and training for employees.
- Providing counselling, support and treatment for employees who are experiencing issues relating to drugs and alcohol.
- Workplace drug and alcohol testing.
Integrity Sampling’s drug and alcohol services in Tasmania
Integrity Sampling has two branches across Tasmania, including Hobart and Launceston. We can help with many aspects of drug and alcohol management, including developing a drug and alcohol policy for your workplace, providing education and conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing.