#35 Drug-Free Jobsites

Drug/alcohol-induced impairment involves one’s physical, mental, emotional and judgmental capabilities and as a result, makes a person totally unfit for work that he/she was employed.  It is your duty to report to work each day, fit and ready and in a condition to be able to work safely throughout the day.  In hot weather, it is a good idea to drink plenty of water – not alcohol!

Drug and alcohol use on the jobsite causes accidents that can, and often does, injure not only the user but also other innocent bystanders and co-workers.  Post accident analysis has determined that terrible tragedies have resulted from drug abuse and alcoholism on-the-job and this problem costs millions of dollars each year in post-injury claims, health care, workers’ compensation payments, lost productivity and equipment losses.  Drug users are 3.6 times more likely to cause injuries at work, and medical expenses will be three times as high.  Experts say that 14% of employees use drugs at work.  Of these, 60% sell drugs at work and one out of four of these employees steals from work to help support the habit.

Construction is a high-hazard industry, which, because of the tough conditions on a jobsite, requires every bit of our attention and concentration – every minute of the day.  Because cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, synthetic drugs (and even many prescription and over-the-counter drugs) can dull the senses and often cause drowsiness, we need to ensure that we operate drug-free.  If you are on medication, report it to your supervisor who will make allowances for you in scheduling the day’s work.  If you are abusing drugs, seek help.

Many employers provide assistance programs to help drug and alcohol abusers and in many states of America, the law protects employees who take active steps to cure themselves of addiction.  If you suspect a fellow worker has an abuse problem, be sure to show them a copy of this article.