Personal Health Risk On A Job
Companies are legally bound to do all they can to ensure that all of their Sunshine Coast employees work in a safe environment. The vast majority do so, but how is an employer or co-worker supposed to know about the personal health of everyone they hire? There are some people who show clear signs of having drug or alcohol problems, but many more are able to cover it up. It may come as a surprise to learn that as many as 62% of people with substance abuse issues are currently employed full-time in Australia. Those people, as well as those on medication for all manner of illnesses, may be unwittingly putting themselves and their fellow workers at risk every day.
The cost of these abuses to the Australian society runs into the billions of dollars, with the number on the rise each and every year. Furthermore, the International Labour Organisation estimates that as many as 20% to 25% of work related injuries are brought about as a direct result of these abuses. Even if you take injury out of the equation, the annual cost of absenteeism due to alcohol crosses the $1 billion dollar mark annually.
It is really only recently that Australian employers have begun to sit up and take notice of the problem. This type of issue is now more regularly addressed when putting together a plan for workplace safety, which includes taking a look at what leads people to drugs and alcohol in the first place. What has been discovered is that a number of common issues are at the root of the problem, with the likes of work stress, peer pressure, discrimination, and conflict with a direct supervisor among the contributing factors.
The sad fact of the matter is that drug and alcohol problems in the workplace have gone unnoticed for so long because they are often hard to spot. It’s usually not until an accident happens and someone is hurt that the truth comes to light. It’s impossible to tell if a call out is due to someone being unable to work due to alcohol, but employers can get a good deal of help by taking a look at the “Alcohol and other drugs in the workplace” outlines in the Workplace Health and Safety Act of NSW, 2011. This may help employers and HR department recognize the potential signs so that something can be done before someone gets hurt.
Employers can also make sure that the health insurance they offer allows employees to seek professional help for substance abuse issues without having to go out of their own pocket. Another good idea is to bring in a professional job site risk assessment team to review the working conditions. This doesn’t mean just looking at the layout of the workplace, but also how shift work and various other working conditions can contribute to substance abuse. The more an employer knows about these problems, the better equipped thy will be to spot them when they arise.