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Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008



O ConLenLs_____________________________________________1
O lnLroducLlon__________________________________________2
O Maln body of research__________________________________2
O Slgn and sympLoms_____________________________________3
O rocedures___________________________________________4
O WhaL Lo do lf an alcohol and drugs problem ls suspecLed_______4
O 1ralnlng______________________________________________3
O ComponenLs of Workplace rogramme_____________________3
O Alcohol and urugs pollcy_________________________________6
O Mlsuse of urugs AcL 2000________________________________6
O Concluslon____________________________________________6
O Appendlx_____________________________________________7
O 8lbllography__________________________________________8

Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

lL ls generally accepLed LhaL because people are more llkely Lo drlnk a large amounL of
alcohol ln a shorL space of Llme Lhey are more llkely Lo experlence Lhe dangers assoclaLed
wlLh alcohol abuse 1hese lnclude drlvlng under Lhe lnfluence of alcohol accldenLal ln[urles
vlolenL behavlour 1hls facL ouLllnes Lhe currenL research on Lhe effecL of alcohol on Lhe
developlng braln lL alms Lo brlng LogeLher good pracLlce LhaL can be used by boLh
employers and employees so LhaL Lhe lssues of drugs medlcaLlons alcohol can be
undersLood and dlscussed openly and falrly ln Lhe workplace 1he CovernmenL ls
lnLroduclng pollcy whlch ls deslgned Lo encourage and promoLe Lhe healLh welfare and
safeLy of all sLaff ln Lhe workplace l wanL Lo know how effecL of alcohol drugs and
medlcaLlon ln Lhe workplace ls Pow ls mlsuse ldenLlflcaLlon?
Ma|n body of research
urug use ls a very complex lssue lL ls lmporLanL Lo remember LhaL all drugs are dlfferenL
and affecL Lhe user ln dlfferenL ways 1hey can alLer Lhe way a person Lhlnk percelves and
feels and Lhls can lead Lo elLher lmpalred [udgemenL or concenLraLlon 1he lmpacL of
subsLance abuse and problem gambllng can affecL Lhe workplace ln many ways lL affecLs
noL only Lhe lndlvldual buL also Lhe coworkers and Lhe buslness dlrecLly Larly lnLervenLlon
reduced Lhe lmpacL on an lndlvldual's healLh and oLher ma[or llfe areas Larly lnLervenLlon
wlll save Lhe company money and provldes a beLLer chance of success for Lroubled
employee Some of Lhe speclflc lmpacLs can be felL ln Lhese areas
Affected erson Coworkers 8us|ness]Workp|ace
ncreased |||ness Coverlng for Lhe person lncreased absenLeelsm
ncreased acc|dent]se|f
lncreased number of
lnLerpersonal confllcLs
lncreased accldenLs and
posslbly deaLh raLes
rob|ems w|th fam||y
fr|ends coworkers |ega|
|ssues f|nanc|a| |ssues
8educed morale lncreased cosLs(lnsurance
worker's compensaLlon cosL
of Lemporary sLaff)
Loss of wages or [ob lncreased sLress 8educed producLlvlLy of all
Loss of se|festeem]respect unsafe work envlronmenL uamage Lo equlpmenL
lncreased rlsk of ln[ury Loss of cusLomers/buslness
Company LhefL
1here are human and economlc cosLs boLh dlrecL and lndlrecL

Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

|gn and symptoms
Abuse of medlcaLlon alcohol and drugs affecLs people
Lmot|ona||y Some emoLlonal effecL may be as follows
8ehav|oura||y 8ehavloural effecLs can be evldenL ln
Slow reacLlon Llme
lmpalred coordlnaLlon
Slowed speech
Lxcesslve Lalklng
lnablllLy Lo slL sLlll
LlmlLed aLLenLlon span or
oor moLlvaLlon and low energy levels
hys|ca||y physlcal effecL can be mlld or more severe and can lnclude
urasLlc welghL loss/galn
ullaLed puplls
unsLeady galL
Smell of alcohol or solvenLs
Muscle weakness
All Lhe slgn show above may be caused by oLher facLors and condlLlons such as sLress and
should be regarded only as lndlcaLlon LhaL a sLaff member may be mlsuslng alcohol drugs or
medlcaLlon overdose A deLalled professlonal assessmenL ls necessary Lo deLermlne drug
alcohol or medlcaLlon dependence More deLalled slgns and sympLoms wlll be presenLed aL
Lhe Lralnlng sesslon for managers lL ls recognlsed LhaL an lndlvldual may have drug and
alcohol problems le cross dependence

Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

As far as posslble alcohol and drug mlsuse wlll be managed as healLh problems under
capablllLy procedures Lvery efforL wlll be made Lo help Lhe lndlvldual Powever lf Lhere are
ongolng dlfflculLles aL work where approprlaLe Lhe normal dlsclpllnary procedures may be
Management]taff assoc|at|on referra|
SLaff members may be encouraged Lo seek confldenLlal help advlce or supporL by Lhelr
managers or Lrade unlon represenLaLlves 1here musL be documenLed evldence of
alcohol/drugs relaLed problems or reasonable grounds Lo belleve LhaL Lhe lndlvldual may
requlre such help 1hls does noL glve up Lhe posslblllLy of dlsclpllnary proceedlngs where an
lncldenL has occurred whlch would normally lead Lo same
Med|ca| referra|
SLaff members may be referred by Lhelr general pracLlLloner or occupaLlonal healLh medlcal
advlsers for help
taff concern
A sLaff member can also ralse concern regardlng a colleague Lo managers supervlsors or
Lrade unlon/sLaff assoclaLlon represenLaLlves ln confldence Alcohol/drugs problems ofLen
Lrade unlon/sLaff assoclaLlon represenLaLlves ln confldence Alcohol/drugs problem ofLen
puL Lhe healLh welfare and safeLy of colleagues aL rlsk and by coverlng up" Lhe lndlvldual ls
prevenLed from achlevemenL Lhe necessary lnslghL Lo geL help 1hls ls commonplace aL
work All sLaff members should feel confldenL LhaL managemenL wlll be consLrucLlve and
sympaLheLlc 1he 1ralnlng and Awareness Sesslons wlll help bulld confldence LhaL problems
wlll be senslLlvely confldenLlally and professlonally handled
What to do |f an a|coho|]drug prob|em |s suspected
8e well prepared
8e conslsLenLLreaL all sLaff members Lhe same
Carefully conslder how lssues are Lo be handled
Seek advlce from relevanL personnel/human resources sLaff
C8SL8vL Look for paLLerns lL ls accepLed LhaL anyone can have an off" day
Alcohol/drug/medlcaLlon problems usually develop over a perlod of Llme and lnvolve a
decllne ln work performance healLh aLLlLudes and ablllLy
uCCuMLn1A1lCn All aLLendance puncLuallLy and poor [ob performance should be
documenLed All wrlLLen noLes should be facLual and ob[ecLlve 8ecord sLaff explanaLlons

Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

8evlew your own role
Clearly deflne performance problem and lmpacL
Were Lhere prevlous aLLempLs Lo resolve Lhls lssue or ls Lhls lncldenL/paLLern new?
ldenLlfy posslble barrlers Lo resoluLlon
WhaL alLernaLlves can be offered Lo sLaff Lo resolve Lhe problem?
uevelop a plan for lnlLlal or followup dlscusslons
SelecL a Llme and place whlch affords prlvacy
ueflne Lhe problem
Lxplaln LhaL Lhe goal of Lhe dlscusslons ls Lo help resolve dlfflculLles
Lxplaln consequences lf any lf problems are unresolved

@he ma|n ob[ect|ves for tra|n|ng of staff are
1o provlde a programme for managers represenLaLlves Lo help wlLh Lhe recognlLlon
alcohol/drug mlsuse and Lo enable Lhem Lo manage sLaff wlLh such problems ln a
senslLlve falr and approprlaLe manner
1o lncrease awareness by educaLlng sLaff of Lhe naLure and relaLed rlsks of alcohol
and drug mlsuse
1o dlscuss Lhe problems of alcohol and drug mlsuse ln Lhe workplace and Lhelr
lmpacL on healLh and safeLy work performance and producLlvlLy

Components of Workp|ace rogramme
1here ls noL a rlghL way Lo develop a workplace programme as envlronmenLs vary and some
employers may only be lnLeresLed ln cerLaln componenLs 1he declslon wlll depend on Lhe
level of concern abouL Lhe problem such as safeLy securlLy and Lhe poLenLlal for mlsuse
Assessment h|gh||ghts need for Drug and A|coho| o||cy
o||cy Deve|opment through [o|nt |nvo|vement w|th emp|oyee representat|ves


ollcy lmplemenLaLlon
Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

A|coho| and Drug o||cy
ALCCPCL CLlC? uL1AlLS Avallable evldence shows LhaL alcohols use lncrease Lhe rlsk of
accldenLs and lower safeLy sLandards can lmpalr [udgemenL and lncrease Lhe rlsk of errors
and poor work quallLy ln order Lo ensure a safe and healLhy envlronmenL ln Lhe workplace
Lhe followlng speclflc deLalls should be adhered Lo wlLhln Lhe publlc servlce
u8uC CLlC? uL1AlLS 1here ls no evldence Lo suggesL LhaL Lhe publlc servlce has parLlcular
problems ln relaLlon Lo drug and subsLance mlsuse Where Lhey occur however Lhey can
lead Lo serlous problems wlLh personal healLh safeLy and performance aL work ln order Lo
ensure a safe and healLhy envlronmenL Lhe followlng speclflc deLalls should be adhered Ll
wlLhln Lhe publlc servlce
M|suse of drugs Act 2000
All sLaff should be aware of Lhe leglslaLlon whlch affecLs Lhe above procedures 1he prlnclpal
leglslaLlon for conLrolllng Lhe mlsuse of drugs ls Lhe Mlsuse of urugs AcL 2000 1he AcL
makes Lhe producLlon supply and possesslon of conLrolled drugs unlawful excepL ln cerLaln
speclfled clrcumsLances (for example when Lhey have been prescrlbed by a docLor) A
person who knowlngly permlLs Lhe producLlon or supply of any conLrolled drugs Lhe
smoklng of cannabls or cerLaln oLher acLlvlLles Lo Lake place on hls premlses could be
commlLLlng an offence
1he AcL llsLs Lhe drugs LhaL are sub[ecL Lo conLrol and classlfles Lhem Lhree caLegorles
accordlng Lo Lhe penalLles relaLed Lo Lhem
lL ls posslble LhaL ln cerLaln clrcumsLances charges may be broughL agalnsL an employer or
an employee under Lhls AcL lL would be up Lo Lhe courLs Lo declde on Lhe clrcumsLances of
each case
My work ls based on my frlend's and my own observaLlon as well ln our dally llfe we
someLlmes meeL wlLh a person who Lakes alcohol drugs and medlcaLlons 1hese people are
dangerous noL only for Lhemselves buL for all who works nearby Lhem lL ls noL easy declslon
Lo glve up uslng alcohol and drugs ln Lhe workplace and anoLher place we have Lo help and
supporL Lhem l Lhlnk everyone needs Lo know all slgn and sympLoms of overdose and be
ready Lo help lf somebody fllls badly

Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

Def|n|t|on lL should be clear whaL ls deflned as a drugs alcohol and medlcaLlons subsLance
problem llllclL drugs prescrlbed drugs alcohol and medlcaLlon effecLs Alcohol drugs and
medlcaLlons and lLs effecLs ln Lhe workplace
@he purpose of the top|c l chose Lhls Loplc because alcohol and drugs ls a blg problem noL
ln Lhe workplace only l Lhlnk lL much explalns abouL how proLecL Lhe healLh l wanL Lo
provlde slgnlflcance for Lhe dlvlslon of such subsLances alcohol and drugs ln Lhe workplace
@he genera| a|ms l wanL Lo flnd ouL sufflclenL lnformaLlon abouL alcohol drugs and
medlcaLlon aL workplace And geL knowledge how Lo proLecL and explaln people agalnsL
consumlng alcohol and drugs 1he maln Lo have clear procedures Lo manage alcohol drugs
and medlcaLlon mlsuse ln Lhe workplace 1he prlmary responslblllLy ls Lo promoLe a safe and
healLh worklng envlronmenL for all sLaff
Ma|n ob[ect|ves l wanL Lo sLudy more abouL alcohol and oLher drugs problems ln Lhe
workplace 1he adverse effecLs of alcohol and creaLe a serlous LhreaL Lo Lhe welfare of
fellow employees 1he ob[ecLlve Lo esLabllsh and malnLaln a work envlronmenL free from
Lhe adverse effecLs of alcohol medlcaLlons and drugs
l wanL Lo know how proLecL healLh aL workplace and help colleagues

Alcohol and drugs pollcy

Ludmlla kolesnlkova SafeLy PealLh and Welfare aL Work uecember 2008

1 naLlonal alcohol pollcy lreland" SepLember 1996 CovernmenL publlcaLlon sale
offlce sun alllance Pouse Moles worLh sLreeL uublln 2
2 urugs 1here are answers" 2008 8rushler publlshed by Lhe PealLh romoLlon unlL
as parL of 1he naLlonal urugs SLraLegy
3 LveryLhlng you need Lo know abouL chemlcal dependence" vernon !ohnson L
Llbrary of Congress CaLalogulng ln ubllcaLlon uaLa 1990
4 under Lhe WeaLher" Coplng wlLh Alcohol Abuse and Alcohollsm !ohn C Cooney
newleaf an lmprlnL of Clll Macmlllan Pume Avenue ark WesL uublln 12 2002