Joint initiative call over drugs at work issues

Businesses and trade unions are being urged to work together to put into
place more effective anti-drug policies in the workplace.

The Government initiative is tied into work already under way by the HSE to
establish the scale and impact of drug misuse on health and safety at work.

Keith Hellawell, the Government’s anti-drugs "tsar", told an
employers’ conference in February, "An effective policy can’t just be
instigated by management. It needs to be a consensus between unions, workforce
and management.

"We want to encourage an approach which offers support, encouragement
and counselling to those who are misusing drugs."

But Graham Johnson, professional development manager at MTL Medical Services
warned against a knee-jerk reaction.

Businesses needed to be sure they had thought through why they wanted an
anti-drugs policy. "The policy needs to be evidence-based. Businesses need
to be advised correctly," he said.

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