Conference centres on workplace impairment

Showing up "fit for work" is important to any team. in any industry. Image credit: Scott Maxwell on Flickr

Showing up “fit for work” helps to keep the team safe, in any industry. Image credit: Scott Maxwell on Flickr

Showing up “fit for work” is the law in BC. That means not being drunk, on drugs, hungover, or otherwise impaired.

A worker must be “capable of concentrating on the tasks at hand” and “physically and mentally capable of carrying out duties in a safe and responsible manner,” to be considered fit for work, says Janet Tomayer of the BC Council on Substance Abuse.

Workers need to know that impairment can be caused by:

* Fatigue
* Over-the-counter medications
* Prescription drugs
* Drugs or alcohol
* After-effects of substance use (i.e., a hangover)

“If it’s impairment by substance abuse in the workplace that you are observing, the problem only gets worse when ignored,” says Janet, sharing the Council’s message to employers.

“Resolve this issue before someone gets hurt. Be proactive and get ahead of this problem. Intervene early and save valuable employees. Train your supervisors and educate your employees – keep everyone safe and healthy.”

To discuss these matters further, the BC Council on Substance Abuse is hosting Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace – Wrestling with the Elephant in the Room, March 10-12, 2015, in Kelowna, BC.

Topics for employers include:

* The cost of substance abuse
* Legal requirements for employers and employees
* Impact of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medications
* Understanding addiction
* Return to work and aftercare
* Transforming company culture

The BC Council on Substance Abuse says “… it’s generally accepted that 70 percent of people with addictions are functioning AND in the workplace” and that “approximately 10 percent of the population has an issue with substance use at any given time – this is YOUR hiring pool.”

Thanks to Janet for emailing me about this conference and giving me extra information to share in this here blog post.


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