Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

Public news

Everyone has a duty of care while in the workplace for their own safety and that of those around them.

It is well know that when someone is under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs within a working environment they instantly become a health and safety issue for themselves and everyone around them.

Being under the influence changes the natural mechanics of your brain, making you act and behave in ways you may have not acted otherwise. Having a boost in confidence or the opposite; becoming sluggish and paying less attention to your surroundings can have catastrophic consequences.

Key Messages

  • People in the workforce are more likely to have consumed alcohol or illicit drugs in the past 12 months than people who are not in the workforce.
  • Costs to employers also arise not just through the behaviour and habits of alcohol and drug dependent workers, but through the greater number of moderate drinkers when they occasionally or infrequently drink to excess or infrequently use illicit drugs.
  • Use could lead to health and safety issues for both the workers who consumed these products and other people they work with.
  • Considering the length of time that people spend at work, the workplace is ideally situated to change attitudes and behaviour in regards to alcohol and other drug use.
  • A workplace policy on alcohol and drug use should be developed in consultation with all members of the workplace, applied equally to all levels, clearly stating what is acceptable behaviour and the consequences of any unacceptable behaviour and be clearly communicated to all members of the workforce.

The MTA works with a number of employers and their employees to manage WHS systems and to conduct Drug Testing.

If you need any advice or assistance in developing a Drug & Alcohol Policy or need Workplace Drug Testing, please contact the MTA’s Workplace Relations team by clicking here or by calling 8291 2000.

To access the MTA's Drug and Alcohol Policy template, click here to login to the Member's website.