The consumption of alcohol and use of drugs can impair the judgement and coordination of individuals in the workplace and increase the risk to health and safety of others. The misuse of alcohol and other drugs may damage an individual's physical and mental health with many aspects of the workplace require alertness, accuracy and coordination and any impairment to these characteristics can increase the chance of injury to workers or others in the workplace. There are many other affects associated with the use of alcohol or other drugs at work, which can include:

  • Reduced productivity 

  • Illness and / or absenteeism 

  • Challenging behavior affecting other workers 

  • Hangover, withdrawal, drowsiness which may affect job performance 

  • Preoccupation with obtaining and using substances or the illegal sale of alcohol or other drugs while at work. 


Elements of a drug & alcohol policy should include:

  • Statement of a workers rights to confidentiality 

  • Statement of who is covered by the policy and / or program 

  • Statement outlining the purpose and objectives of the program 

  • Processes for worker education programs (eg drug free awareness) 

  • If necessary, a statement outlining the circumstances when drug or alcohol testing may be conducted 

  • Processes for training workers, supervisors and others in identifying and reporting impaired behaviour and substance abuse 

  • An outline of how to manage impaired workers 

  • Provision for assisting chronic substance use 

  • Provision for disciplinary actions. 

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