What's New - December 15, 1998

Drug-Free Workplace

Slowly but surely, employers are coming to see the value of establishing drug-free workplaces (DFWP). The DFWP is an idea whose time has come indeed! There are a lot of reasons that the DFWP has gained prominence in the world of business today. Statistics will show that employers who agressively pursue the establishment of DFWP will save money (and maybe lives, as well). Thus there is an economic incentive for the DFWP. Too, legislation has been passed which has made it a requirement to have policies and training, as well as drug testing and referral procedures in certain industries, particularly those involving transportation - trains, trucks, busses, etc.

It is a Problem, Indeed!

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998, in its preamble, defines several facts that should serve as incentive to anyone for the establishment of a DFWP. Among the statistics, some of which are really surprising: All of these are good resons for developing an effective response to drug problems in the workplace.

So What is a Good Response?

A good place for any business to start is with a checklist, which should be based on prevailing laws and the type of business involved. The Department of Labor defines the steps most often recommended to develop a comprehensive plan. These include writing a comprehensive substance abuse policy, Training your supervisory team, Informing the employees, providing Employee Assistance Planning, and instituting an effective and appropriate drug testing strategy.

More Help Available Online

One of the best sites we've run across lately, for additional information and support of the DFWP, is that one from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information. This site provides a variety of fact sheets and handouts for supervisors and employees alike. Another place to start is the Department of Labor's Working Partners articles page which include half a dozen valuable public domain documents. Anyone who owns a business, or for that matter, anyone in the workplace, should make having a DFWP a priority in the coming year!

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