Alcohol and drug policy

Workplaces, no matter how small, should have a clear alcohol and drug policy to comply with various legislation, regulations and codes of practice including fulfilling duty of care responsibilities.

A robust alcohol and drug policy helps reduce risks and associated liabilities. A policy can also ensure consistency in management and decision-making about alcohol and other drug-related matters.

An alcohol and drug policy should clearly explain:

  • Employer, supervisor and employee responsibilities in relation to alcohol and drugs, including making it clear that hangovers and comedown can affect work in addition to intoxication; 
  • How your organisation manages situations where alcohol and drugs are involved such as functions or when someone is taking medication;
  • If you conduct drug testing. This should include what support you will offer employees and the action you may take if an employee returns a positive test result;
  • How to determine if someone is unfit for work due to alcohol and drugs and what to do in these situations; and
  • The steps that need to be taken to manage someone’s return to work after being deemed unfit.

Free alcohol and drug policy

A Policy Builder tool has been specifically developed for the heavy vehicle industry. You can use it to build and customise an alcohol and other drug policy for your business, including adding your Company name and logo. 

When you use the Policy Builder, you will be asked nine questions about what you need in your policy. They are all yes/no questions. Answering ‘yes’ to any question results in material being added to the policy. 

We have provided a User Guide [PDF 694 Kb]  that shows you the questions before you use the Policy Builder so you can think about what should be included and talk this over with your employees.

The User Guide covers:

  • how you can involve your workplace in developing your policy
  • the questions and issues to consider
  • the additional material that will be added to the policy
  • steps in putting your policy into practice.

Build your own Alcohol and other drugs policy now

Putting your policy into practice

You are encouraged to involve your employees when developing and implementing the policy across your organisation to help them take ownership of workplace safety. These activities could include choosing a small group of ‘workplace safety champions’ that discuss the policy and how it relates to your business. These conversations could include discussing challenges your organisation could face when implementing the policy and how they could be overcome, and coming up with ways that the policy could be communicated (using the free employee education resources).  

Whether or not you have workplace safety champions, it’s important to communicate this policy to employees. To assist in communicating your policy, free employee education resources  have been developed for this purpose.

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