A technically correct Policy & Procedure is the foundation of any successful Drug and Alcohol Management Program (DAMP).

A successful Drug & Alcohol Management Program (DAMP) requires strategic implementation into your workplace, so it becomes the culture, rather than another procedure which is implemented and forgotten.

Your Policy & Procedure should comprise a range of strategies including education / awareness training, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) testing and documented processes for breaches of Policy or Procedure.

Failure to develop a technically correct Policy & Procedure and subsequent failure to adhere to it will invariably cause major issues.  The Policy and Procedure should refer to correct Work Health & Safety Legislation or other Laws and Australian Standards specific to your workplace.

Employers need to be able to demonstrate that employees are trained in and understand the Drug & Alcohol Management Program, Policy & Procedure.  If employers can demonstrate this and something goes wrong, they are in a much better position to defend the issue.  Of course, if employees understand the Drug & Alcohol Management Program this will further minimise the possibility of something going wrong and promote a culture of safety.

Some of the most common mistakes we seem in Alcohol and Other Drugs Policies & Procedures:

  • Wrong Terminology

    Use of terms such as “under the influence” or “impairment”.  These statements are very difficult, if not impossible to prove, and should not determine a breach of Policy or Procedure or even a general approach to conforming.

  • No Definitions

    Failure to adequately define terms used in the Procedure.  Absence of a “definitions” section results in ambiguity which leads to “loopholes”.

  • Inconsistency

    For example, combining saliva and urine testing in the same Procedure when one tests for recent exposure and the other tests for historical drug use.

  • Who performs the testing?

    Failure to detail the actual testing procedure. For example all testing to be conducted by a nominated independent testing service provider whose work practices are compliant to relevant Australian Standards and are externally audited by independent organisations.

  • Prescribed & Over The Counter Medication

    Omitting guidelines to manage either prescribed or over the counter medication. These can be managed effectively and satisfactorily with guidelines making up a few paragraphs.

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