Region of Peel
Solutions for a healthier workplace
Sample Policies and Procedures
Alcohol and Other Drugs
Substance use can affect on-the-job performance in many ways. Co-ordination becomes difficult, motor skills are impaired, and psychosocial skills differ from the norm. Developing a workplace alcohol and other drugs policy will help to protect the health and safety of your employees and minimize employer/employee liability.
Benefits of a Workplace Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy:
Improve workplace health and safety
Decrease WSIB costs
legal liability (PDF 913KB, pages 14 and 17) Reduce absenteeism and production error
Demonstrate a supportive and healthy environment where both employees and management will have a clear understanding of how the organization deals with substance use in the workplace
Barriers and Considerations:
Know the Law
Obtain information on local, provincial and federal laws that could influence policy development at your workplace. For example:
Liability for the actions of impaired employees in the course of their work
Due diligence responsibility to ensure workplace safety
Response to possession or trafficking of illegal substances at work
Responsibilities with regard to employees with disabilities (including dependency on alcohol and other drugs)
Requirements of any collective agreement
Responsibilities when serving alcohol at corporate parties and events
Seek legal advice once the policy is drafted
Who needs to be involved?
All stakeholders including health and safety committees, union representatives, Human Resources, your EAP provider, etc.
All levels of management
What should be considered?
Elements of the policy would include:
statement of the purpose and objectives of the program
definition of substance abuse
statement of who is covered by the policy and/or program
statement of the employee’s rights to confidentiality
that arrangements have been made for employee education (e.g., a substance-free awareness program)
that arrangements have been made for training employees, supervisors, and others in identifying impaired behaviour and substance abuse
provision for assisting chronic substance abusers
outline of how to deal with impaired workers
if necessary, statement of under what circumstances drug or alcohol testing will be conducted
provision for disciplinary actions
How do I communicate the policy to my employees?
Examine office norms that may hinder policy implementation
Educate employees about the relationship between substance abuse and workplace injury
Provide information on the effects of over-the counter and prescription drugs which can also lead to employees being impaired
Include policy communication to employees as a mandatory component of orientation
Include an Employee Assistance Program in your benefits package and encourage employee use
How do I make sure the policy is effective?
Assess what your organization may be doing to enable substance abuse (e.g. keeping alcohol on site, drinking at holiday/retirement parties, or providing alcohol as prizes at corporate events)
Evaluate the policy with respect to implementation and effectiveness
Review the policy periodically to ensure it remains current (invite employee and manager feedback)
HR and Wellness Professionals Employees home contact
November 03, 2015