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