The welfare of everyone at a worksite is threatened when a worker is impaired by abusing drugs or alcohol. You can play an important part to ensure safety in the workplace by:
- Knowing the drug-free policies of your workplace.
- Setting a good example for others.
- Telling management if you suspect use or impairment from drugs or alcohol that threatens safety and health of coworkers.
- Seeking help if you or your co-worker(s) are impaired.
- If you or a co-worker(s) are dealing with these problems, confidential help may be available, often at no cost to employees, through the company’s benefits program.
- There are many outside services that can help.
These statistics are from a Department of Labor report. See if you recognize any of the signs:
- One in five workers report that they have had to work harder, redo work or cover for a co-worker or have been put in danger or injured as a result a fellow employee’s drinking.
- Up to 40 % of industrial fatalities and 47% of industrial injuries can be linked to alcohol consumption and alcoholism.
- Alcohol and drug abuse has been estimated to cost American businesses roughly 81 billion dollars in lost productivity in just one year—37 billion due to premature death and 44 billion due to illness. Of these combined costs, 86 % are attributed to drinking.
- Alcoholism is estimated to cause 500 million lost workdays annually.
- Individuals who are current illicit drug users are more than twice as likely (9.3 %)than those who are not (4.3 %) to have changed employers three or more times the past year. Similarly, individuals who are current heavy alcohol users are more likely (8 %) than those who are not (4.4%) to have changed employers three or more times in the past year.
- Individuals who are current illicit drug users are also more likely (12.9%)than those who are not (5 %)to have skipped one or more workdays in the past month. Individuals who are current heavy alcohol users are also more likely (11.3%)than those who are not (5.1 %)to have skipped one or more workdays in the past month.
- Of callers to the National Cocaine Hotline, 75% admit to having used drugs on the job, 64% report that drugs have adversely affected their job performance; 44% say they have sold drugs to fellow employees, and 18% say they have stolen from coworkers to support their drug habit.
If any of this is familiar to you:
- Do Not Delay or Ignore! Tell your supervisor immediately.
- Act to prevent worker from committing unsafe practices.
- Be willing to risk being wrong. It is better to be safe than sorry when the well-being of all is on the line.
Call: Substance Abuse Treatment Locator, 1-800-662 HELP, or www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov
Drug Free Workplace Alliance\dol.gov