Alcohol and Drugs

Saturday, December 4, 2021 7:27 AM

To assume that a workksite is free from the impacts (or use) of alcohol and drugs would be a mistake.  As such, programs, policies, and procedures must be in place to protect workers from the influence of these substances and provide them the support they need when alcohol and / or drugs affect their ability to perform.

Consider the following, taken from Practical Loss COntrol Leadership, 3rd edition, Chapter 15.

“One of the biggest mistakes an organization can make about troubled employees is to assume they do not employ any.  The abuse of alcohol and other drugs is a problem for up to 10% of the workforce.  The cost to the U.S. economy in the form of lost productivity, absenteeism, health claims and workplace incidents is probably $200billion,  However, there is no systemically gathered database on the size and implications of the problem."

“Consider the following statistics:

  • Imparied driving will affect one in three Americans during their lifetimes.
  • Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 30 minutes and seriously injure someone every to minutes
  • During 2001, 17,448 people in the U.S. died in alcohol related motor vehicle crashes, representing 41% of all traffic related deaths.
  • Approximately 1.5 million drivers were arrestedd in 2000 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.  This is an arrest rate fo 1 for every 130 licensed drivers in the Uited States.
  • Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) have been identified as factors in 18% of deaths among motor vehicle drivers.  Other drugs are generally used in combination with alcohol.
  • Approximately 85% of all alcoholics hold jobs."

“ National studies estimate that 10-15% of all workers are chronically troubled on any given day.  Half of these employees have problems that are alcohol and drug related.  Workers who use drugs:

  • Are late to work three times as often as non-abusing workers
  • Ask to leave work early more than twice as often
  • Have 2.5 times as many absences of 8 days or more
  • Use three times the normal level of sick benefits
  • Are 5 times more likely to fiel workers’ compensation claims
  • File four time more grievances
  • Are seven times more liekly to have wage garnishments
  • Are involved in incidents 3.6 times more often than other employees

Of the workers who use drugs,

  • 76% admitted using them on the job
  • 69% regularly worked under the influence of cocaine
  • 25% used cocaine at work every day."