Legal Article - Health & Safety

Health and Safety: Employee Consumption of Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

Employers have obligations under common law and the Health and Safety at Work Act to keep their employees safe and healthy. Employers are obliged to take reasonable steps to ensure that their employees are not acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs if this is likely to risk the health and safety of themselves or others.

Clear rules should be established and made known to employees that neither substance should be brought onto the employers’ premises, nor consumed on them. Particular reference should be made to prescribed medications when the side effects may cause a Health and Safety issue.

If employees are found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs they should be removed from the premises and disciplinary or other action taken against them.


Published: 21 Mar 2011


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