Drug-Free Work Week: Top 5 ways to participate

The third annual Drug-Free Work Week kicked off this week (October 20-26, 2008), to educate employers, employees, and the general public about the importance of being drug-free as a part of improving workplace safety and health.

Workplaces across the country are affected daily by drug use. Over two-thirds of alcohol and drug abusers in the U.S. were employed either full or part time in 2007, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings.

The Department of Labor created a list of activities employers can do during Drug-Free Work Week to promote a safer, healthier workplace through substance abuse prevention and intervention.

Here are our picks for the top 5 ways to get involved in Drug-Free Work Week:

Implement a Drug-Free Workplace Program if you don’t already have one. The DOL’s Working Partners Web site provides free tools and information to help you get started.

Promote your existing Drug-Free Workplace Program. Distribute your company policy to employees with an attached message promoting a healthy and safe workplace. Also include information where employees can ask questions, either privately or at an open discussion.

Train supervisors and educate workers. Train supervisors on the company’s policy regarding alcohol and drug use, how to identify potential problems and how to offer employees assistance. Hold training sessions for employees with guest speakers on how drugs affect workplace safety and health.

Allow employees to volunteer in community drug-prevention efforts. Show your organization’s dedication to a drug-free workplace by granting employees time off to volunteer in drug-prevention activities in the community.

Hold a special event promoting safety and health. Organize a social event in the office, complete with healthy snacks and sweets, that reinforces the importance of staying healthy and drug free.

Whether you celebrate Drug-Free Work Week this week or at a time more suitable to your business’ schedule, the important thing to remember is to encourage and educate employees how to stay drug-free, safe and healthy.

Visit the DOL’s Working Partners for more Drug-Free Work Week activities and more ways to promote a drug-free workplace.

How is your organization celebrating Drug-Free Work Week?

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