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Keep Employees Safe at Your Workplace Holiday Party

Workplace holiday parties are a time for merriment — but no one’s spirits will be bright if alcohol or drug abuse ruins the evening!

While we think that it’s important to allow your employees to blow off some steam and enjoy themselves during the holiday season, serving alcohol at your office party can be a risk.

Here are some alternatives to the typical boozy bash that will still keep your workers happy these holidays!

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What Should Be Included In My Drug Testing Policy?

An employee is a major investment for any employer. Some studies show that an employer pays half or more of the what they pay for the employee’s salary in taxes, training, and benefits. And the fate of a business is directly in the hands of your employees; if they succeed, so does your business. If they fail, so do you.

Because of the value of employees, many employers choose to protect them and their business with Drug Free Workplace Programs. Join ARCpoint Labs of Worcester in taking a look at the elements that comprise a successful workplace drug testing program.

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1 in 10 Small Businesses Have Employees Under the Influence of Drugs and Alcohol

Employee drug and alcohol use can be detrimental to your business — not just in terms of lost productivity and financial impacts, but also in terms of employee safety. That’s why it’s key for all companies to be aware of their employees’ actions, particularly when they’re on the clock.

Do you know how many of your small business employees are under the influence of drugs and alcohol? The number might be higher than you expect. We share the latest details below — and provide some tips for keeping employee drug and alcohol use in check.

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Signs Your Drug-Free Workplace Policy Isn’t Working

Most business owners are familiar with the benefits of establishing an effective drug-free workplace policy, from monetary incentives to improvements in employee health and productivity. What you might not be aware of is how to gauge whether your drug-free workplace program is working once it’s implemented.

When creating your drug-free workplace or drug testing policy, it’s key to take your time and consider the general best practices for these programs. Then once the program is in place, you should complete a policy review to keep things up-to-date.

Here are some signs to watch for that will help you see whether your drug-free workplace policy is effective or if it needs retooling.

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Office Safety Tips: Hosting a Holiday Party

December 13, 2013 4 comments

Your office holiday party is a time for your employees to let loose, celebrate the year’s accomplishments, and relax and bond with their coworkers. As an employer or HR manager, you should also allow yourself to enjoy the festivities. But it’s also your responsibility to ensure that your employees are safe during and directly after your office holiday party.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be a Scrooge and cancel the holiday party altogether, enforce strict rules, or take away the alcohol. Here are some office safety tips to implement in before upcoming festivities.

Office Safety Tips: Hosting a Holiday Party

Review Company Policies

One of the most important office safety tips is to review your company policies before planning your holiday party. As the employer or HR manager, it’s your job to make sure that your gathering adheres to the policies, and that you’re aware of employee conduct codes so that you can enforce them at the event. Likewise, you should review your company policies with your employees so that they’re aware of how they should behave, even at an after-hours work-sponsored event. You should not only review alcohol and substance abuse policies, but also sexual harassment policies, as the alcohol and the relaxed environment of a holiday party could lead to sexual harassment. Follow these office safety tips and your employees will think before they act at your holiday party!

Make it Voluntary

You want all your employees to have fun at your holiday party — but keep in mind that you can’t make it a required event. Some employees may be uncomfortable at an event with alcohol, particularly if they have struggled with alcohol abuse in the past. Some people might have religious beliefs that prevent them from celebrating holidays. You don’t want your employees to feel bullied into participation. Stress to everyone that the holiday party will be a fun event, but it’s completely optional.

Handling Alcohol

Worcester, MA | Office Safety Tips: Hosting a Holiday PartyAlcohol can contribute to safety issues at your holiday party. To lessen your employees’ risk of injury or extreme intoxication, hire professional bartenders to work your event. They can cut off service to attendees who are intoxicated. You can also distribute drink tickets to your employees to limit their alcohol intake at the holiday party. You should also serve heavier foods so that your employees won’t drink on an empty stomach. Try surveying your employees on their favorite holiday party foods so that your menu is a success.

Have Taxi Numbers Handy

At the end of your holiday party, safe transportation should be a major concern. Have taxi numbers on hand so that you can easily arrange rides for intoxicated employees. If your employees brought a sober driver as a guest, make sure that they are actually sober. You don’t want your employees to get in a car accident after your holiday party!

To learn more office safety tips for hosting a great holiday party or to get professional drug and alcohol testing administered at your business, contact ARCpoint Labs of Worcester today at (774) 314-9551.

Confronting An Employee About Alcohol Abuse

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment

Employee Drug & Alcohol TestingIf there’s one thing that is for certain, it’s that your employees should never reek of alcohol when they are on the job. If you have noticed an employee coming to work smelling like a brewery, this is something that should be addressed promptly. The question is, How do you approach and deal with an employee who has been drinking on the job?

How To Confront An Employee About Alcohol Abuse

Review Company Policy

The first thing you should do is consider your company policy. Does your company have a policy in place for drug and alcohol testing? Does the company enforce a zero tolerance policy? Do you have any contracts that require you to follow a specific 3rd party procedure such as the Department of Transportation’s policy for drug and alcohol testing? Before you consider what you’re going to do, know exactly what you’re required to do.

Is The Employee Really Under the Influence?

Before confronting the employee, observe their behavior. Do signs of alcohol use really exist? Does the employee exhibit motor skill problems, slurred speech, alcohol odors or irrational emotional behavior?

Confronting An Alcoholic Employee

This should be done privately and professionally. You want to talk to the employee in a calm manner without making judgements or accusations. If you suspect that the employee is obviously under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then now is not the best time to start reprimanding them over their work quality or other performance issues. You should emphasize concern for their personal well-being and provide them with information about any employee assistance programs that might be in place.

Employee Drug & Alcohol Testing

The next step is to send the employee for drug and alcohol testing, provided that your company policy allows testing or is required to do so under law. If this is not an option, talk to the employee about referring them to a doctor for evaluation.

Sending An Employee Home

An employee who refuses medical attention and is obviously under the influence needs to be sent home. You should not allow this employee to drive. Call the emergency contact number listed for that employee and have them pick up the employee. The warning signs that you interpreted as the employee being under the influence could have also been signs of a more serious medical condition. You should not let this person leave unattended.

For more information on a drug free workplace or drug testing, contact ARCpoint Labs of Worcester today.

Drug Using Employees – How to Identify Them

drug-using-employeeEmployees under the influence of illegal drugs or non prescribed prescription drugs causes risks and can lead to serious issues in the workplace. Users can cause accidents, injure themselves or even injure other employees.

These risks make it very important for managers and supervisors to recognize warning signs so drug using employees are identified.

Be aware of these common drug using warning signs:

 

Reduced Quality of Work

Drug abuse often leads to lack of focus, fatigue and causes distraction. These will cause reduced quality of work for almost any employee. This lack of focus away from work will typically lead to an uncaring attitude towards the job and result in tardiness, excessive absenteeism and therefore an overall reduced quality of work.

This poor behavior will quickly affect other employees as well as the company. Reduced productivity will cause other employees to adjust their work schedules and require additional work from peers.

Absenteeism

A strong indicator of a drug using employee is increased absenteeism. A study performed by The Journam of the American Medical Association discovered that those who test positive for marijuana have a 78% increase in absenteeism. Those that test positive for cocaine have as high as a 145% increase in absenteeism.

There could be several reasons why a drug using employee is spending more time away from work than usual. Reasons as simple as being too tired are a possibility, but extreme reasons are also a possibility such as being too addicted to spend time in the office. Complex life and medical issues also stem from drug use and can cause a drug using employee to take more and more time off work.

Hostility

Many drug users feel that they are perfectly capable of working and are unaware of the heavy affects drugs are having on them or their level of dependency on the drug. In terms of a work environment, a warning sign of drug use is hostility toward those around them.

Injuries

It’s common for drug users to be injured because of the drastic change in their mental state. This drastic change will likely lead to lack of concentrate along with the possibility of drowsiness and possible hallucinations. None of these possibilities are suitable or appropriate for the workplace because the drug user is not only putting themselves in danger but other employees as well.

As a business owner or employer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your employees. Drug users can be a huge liability to your organization and can be incredibly dangerous.

For more information on a drug free workplace or drug testing, contact ARCpoint Labs of Worcester today.