Whilst substance abuse is most certainly a societal problem that is unlikely to be remedied anytime soon, for employers, including removalists, substance abuse amongst their staff, creates a far more immediate problem that may need to be addressed. Whether you have an employee who drinks to excess, or who takes drugs, the implications for them, their colleagues and your inter state removalists business’s clients cannot be ignored.
Let us first say, that this article is not going to be about how wrong substance abuse is and the risks it poses to the health of someone caught up in it. Many words have been written about that, and in truth, there is little to be gained by us adding to them. Instead, we want to touch upon what removalists business owners should know about substance abuse, as often they are unsure how to deal with an employee should it come to light they are drinking excessively or taking drugs.
Dangers Of Substance Abuse At Work
First, the consequences of someone abusing substances such as alcohol or drugs like cocaine for your business can be stark. Anyone under the influence of these substances is obviously putting their health at risk, but they are also potentially could be in scenarios where they are endangering the well-being or even the life of other employees and clients.
As the owner of your removalists business, you have an obligation to ALL your employees to minimise any risks relating to their health and safety. One of your employees abusing alcohol or drugs poses such a risk. Your obligations also extend to your clients when you are helping them to move home or office.
Obvious risks such as them having an accident by dropping equipment on someone, or worse, driving whilst under the influence of substances are clear. Another issue that could potentially arise is the employee in question becoming verbally abusive or even aggressive with their colleagues whilst under the influence. A worse scenario could be them sexually harassing another employee.
All of this adds up to several red flags which alert you to the fact that substance abuse by any employee is something that has to be dealt with as quickly as it can be identified.
Drug And Alcohol Policies
This should start by implementing. if you have not already, an effective drug and alcohol policy. Whilst this may point out in no uncertain terms that substance abuse will not be tolerated, there is a balance to be found between laying down the law, and seeking to support employees who need help.
Some of the most successful drug and alcohol policies used by employers are those which take a stance that substance abuse, whilst unwanted, is something that needs to be treated rather than punished. As such they promote employee support programs for those suffering from alcohol or drug addiction. It may also include drug and alcohol testing with the premise that you are encouraging employees to come forward for help, rather than being caught out.
A Choice To Make
Even if you already have a drug and alcohol policy in place, you must ask yourself if it promotes employee health and well-being, or simply punishes those caught up in substance abuse. By all means protect your business, its other employees, and its clients, but be wary of veering too far towards punishment rather than prevention.
You might wish to consider drug and alcohol education programs for your employees, counselling, and even rehabilitation as part of your employee welfare measures. Whichever you choose, it will have ramifications for your business, and hopefully, positive ones as your employees come to appreciate your consideration of their well-being.