If you are concerned with the safety and wellness of your workplace and desire to limit and prevent workplace injuries or excessive citation fees from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) then you may want to pay closer attention to substance abuse and how it can factor into your jobsite. In this four-part article, we first discussed recent statistics in regard to substance abuse in the workplace. In the second and third section, we will continue to discuss ways the construction industry is impacted by substance abuse. In the final section, we will offer contractors some tips to ensure their workplace is drug-free.
Besides the obvious dangers an impaired worker can present to a workplace, there are a lot of other factors that can affect an employer financially when there are workers present under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. As Alabama OSHA attorneys, we are extremely familiar with the OSHA inspection and citation process and we are here to offer you any legal assistance you may need.
Substance Abuse Leads to Workplace Problems
Substance abuse can affect an employee mentally, physically, and emotionally. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol can impair the worker’s decision-making ability and also affect their physical ability to do their job. With heavy machinery, several complex moving parts to project orchestration, and many fatal hazards present at the jobsite, substance abuse and the construction jobsite can be a perilous combination. A study by OSHA concluded that between 10 and 20 percent of workers who experience fatal occupational injuries tested positive for either drugs or alcohol. Simply put, employees that engage in substance abuse have a greater chance of experiencing worksite accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
Substance Abuse Costs Employers Billions Every Year
Substance abusers can also hurt their employers from a financial standpoint. It’s estimated that employers lose over one billion dollars per year due to substance abuse. Whether it’s lack of productivity, excessive absenteeism, sick days, or overall low morale, substance abuse can easily affect a workplace beyond just the serious accident scenario. As Alabama OSHA attorneys, we want to help our contractors prevent accidents, citations, and have a productive workplace.
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.