Shockingly, according to the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), more than one-third of construction workers have experienced a colleague under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on site.
Paul Jackson, who is Head of Impairment Research at the Transport Research Laboratory, suggests the lack of data illustrates that drugs and alcohol in construction is an “under-represented issue” and could be a “much greater problem than is recognised”.
This is an alarming figure for any industry, but in a profession commonly labelled as ‘high-risk’, this can be extremely hazardous not only to that individual’s health, but to everyone on site.
Heavy machinery and hazardous working equipment does not mix with impaired vision, hearing, reduced concentration, poor judgement and lack of balance or co-ordination that being under the influence can cause.
We’ve put together some tips to help you avoid this serious risk to your organisation and employees.
- Enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy
Always communicate zero-tolerance standards to all employees. This can be done through a combination of on-site training and with resources such as posters and pamphlets. Ensuring this information is in public view can help to achieve more tolerant results.
- Conduct random drug and alcohol testing
The CCS revealed that 65% of construction workers reported never being tested for drugs or alcohol. Be sure you aren’t ignoring this serious risk and hire a professional agency to carry out the testing process.
- Inform workers of the punishment
A person found guilty of this offence could find themselves in prison for up to six months and/or handed a fine of up to £5,000. The more well-known this fact is, hopefully the more seriously workers will take note of it.
39% of workers in the construction industry feel that the issue of alcohol and drugs in the workplace could be better handled by their company. If you would like more information or advice on this matter, contact our team on 01476 434050 and we’ll do all we can to help you prepare.