Constructing a plan to combat drugs and alcohol in your Queensland workplace

An article on the Worksafe Queensland website highlights that workers in the construction industry are among those at greatest risk of using drugs. So, if your Queensland business works in construction, what are you doing to combat the risk of drugs and alcohol?

Alcohol and drug use in the construction industry

The article, titled Alcohol and drug use in the construction industry, is not specific to Queensland but it does paint a picture that everyone involved in the Queensland construction industry should be concerned about. Among the statistics highlighted in the article are:

  • That workers in the construction industry are among those at greatest risk of using drugs.
  • Trade workers are more likely to admit to consuming alcohol to levels that cause them harm on the job than many other industry workers.
  • Around 50 per cent of adult workers in the building and construction industry drink alcohol at levels that put them at risk. For apprentices, this rises to a staggering 60 per cent.
  • Around 5 per cent of workers admit to using methamphetamines in the last year (the national average is around 1.4 per cent).
  • Around 20 per cent of workers admit to using cannabis in the last year (the national average is 10.4 per cent).

Negative impacts on any construction business, including Queensland businesses, from alcohol and drug use can include:

  • Workplace accidents and injuries
  • Absenteeism and associated costs
  • Lower productivity
  • Turnover of staff
  • Lowered morale

The damning statistics mentioned in the article can be explained due to factors such as shift work, long hours and the nature of the work. However, there is plenty your Queensland business can do to reduce the misuse of drugs and alcohol in your workplace, and the article also spells this out.

The steps you should take in your Queensland business to combat drugs and alcohol include:

  • Have a drug and alcohol policy and plan that list aspects such as expectations, acceptable behaviour and consequences for unacceptable behaviour (such as failing drug testing in your Queensland workplace). And don’t let your policy and plan gather dust on the shelf. Ensure they are communicated to everyone within the workforce.
  • Implement a program of workplace drug testing in your Queensland business.
  • Along with the communication, ensure your Queensland workforce is educated about drugs and alcohol. Face-to-face education sessions are excellent and you can back this up with newsletters, posters, emails and the like.
  • Provide support for employees who are having issues with drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Regularly evaluate your drug and alcohol policy and plan.

Drug and alcohol support a phone call away

Integrity Sampling can help your Queensland business with everything related to drug and alcohol management, including undertaking drug and alcohol testing. Phone Integrity Sampling on 1300 SALIVA.

What’s your plan for managing drugs and alcohol in your Queensland construction business?

John
About

John is the Queensland Manager of Integrity Sampling QLD and is based in the Brisbane office. Integrity Sampling provides its range of drug and alcohol management services, including drug and alcohol testing, right across the state. You can connect with John Lorenzen on LinkedIn

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