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Free Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy Template

Download our Free Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy Template:

*For internal use only. Not for resale or redistribution. By downloading, you agree to our Free Resources Licensing Agreement.

Alcohol and Other Drugs PolicyPurpose of Document

An Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy document outlines guidelines and expectations related to the use of alcohol and other drugs by employees. The policy aims to create a safe and healthy working environment by managing the risks associated with alcohol and drug use, ensuring the well-being of employees and minimizing potential hazards.

How to Use

This Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy document  should be printed, signed by your director and displayed somewhere prominent in the workplace. It should also be communicated to new workers as part of their induction or onboarding process. This document is a template only and it should be customised for your business ensuring that:

  • Workplace specific risks are identified and managed, and
  • Workers are consulted with during the customisation / review process.

When to Use

As stated above, this document should be displayed in your organisation at all times. You should also use it during employee inductions or you may wish to refresh your workers on the contents of the policy periodically as part of a safety meeting or similar forum.

Who Should Use

This document should be signed by the company director or other senior manager. It can be used by your Safety Advisor, Project Manager or other Manager to communicate the requirements to workers (including new workers).

Legal Considerations

There is no specific legal requirement to have or display an Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy. However, it is best practice, especially for larger companies. It can help meet general legal duties, including:

  • s(19)(3)a WHS Act – Duty to Provide a Safe Working Environment

Workers also have legal responsibilities that may be breached by using drugs and alcohol at work, including:

  • s(28) WHS Act – Duty of workers:
    • Taking care of yourself
    • Taking care of others

FAQ

What is involved in a drug and alcohol test?

A drug and alcohol test should be performed in private by a competent person. The alcohol test is usually a breath test while the drug test may be either oral (saliva) or urine.

Is alcohol or drug testing legally required?

No, generally speaking there is no legal requirement for companies to conduct either pre-employment, random or for-cause drug testing.

What happens if a worker fails a drug or alcohol test?

Usually the worker will be immediately stood down pending an investigation. The worker may face disciplinary action (which may include termination) or they may be required to complete a counselling program before returning to work. They may also be subjected to an ongoing testing regime to ensure they do not fail another test.

What is the difference between random and “for-cause” alcohol and drug testing?

Random testing is exactly that. random. It is conducted at any time with no warning, the aim being to act as a deterrence for drug / alcohol use.  “For-cause” testing is usually conducted in response to an incident or if there is suspicion that a worker is under the influence.

Article Sources and Further Reading

  1. Drugs and alcohol (Safe Work Australia) <https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/safety-topic/hazards/drugs-and-alcohol>
  2. Framework to manage the risks of alcohol and other drugs at work (Work Health and Safety Queensland) <https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/safety-and-prevention/health-and-wellbeing/framework-to-manage-the-risks-of-alcohol-and-other-drugs-at-work>
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