Roofers face many dangers while working a physically demanding job at great heights and on uneven surfaces. Although even the safest of jobsites can still experience injuries, roofing contractors must perform their due diligence to mitigate safety risks. Of course, a roofing contractor can ensure that their workforce is wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), utilizing reliable tools and equipment, and abiding by all safety procedures, but this is simply not enough to ensure every worker remains protected.
In this brief article, a roofing attorney in Texas will discuss one important company policy that needs to be in your handbook to protect your workers. Often overlooked by roofing contractors with a boilerplate contract, a drug and alcohol policy may be the difference between a safe workplace and a serious accident occurring.
A Widespread Issue
The Opioid Crisis has infiltrated the workplace and is an especially prevalent issue in both the roofing and construction industries. Consider these relevant facts compiled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- Approximately 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids misuse them
- 8 to 12 percent of these patients develop a disorder from use
- 4 to 6 percent of prescription opioid misusers eventually transition to heroin use
- 80 percent of heroin users used prescription opioids first
- More than 130 people die per day from overdosing on opiods
Instituting the Right Policies
With the number of overdose deaths having spiked across the country, this issue has become so serious that it’s considered a public health crisis. Regardless of how employers feel about substance abuse disorders, in a high-risk industry like roofing, employers need to establish rules and restrictions that notify all workers that they require a drug-free workplace; moreover, there needs to be clear policies in place that apply to all employees for drug-related issues.
When you work with an experienced roofing lawyer in Texas on your employee manual, they can ensure a variety of important topics are covered in your drug-free workplace policy, including:
- Assisting With a Problem: When a worker voluntarily admits that they have a drug or alcohol problem, the company should help them seek rehabilitation. Employers also should provide workers with the option to take paid time off (PTO) or a leave of absence in order to undergo this treatment process.
- A Zero-Tolerance Workplace: It’s critical that an employee handbook establishes that any form of illegal drug activity on the premises is prohibited. The term “activity” includes the use, sale, manufacturing, or dispensing of illegal drugs.
- Testing and Suspicion: When you partner with a construction attorney, they can also establish drug testing policies, including pre-employment testing, reasonable suspicion, and testing in post-accident situations. Applicants and employees that refuse to take a drug test should not be considered for the position or terminated from their position.
In order to effectively institute these policies into an employee handbook, consult a construction attorney today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.