Drug Impairment on the Job:
Employers Learn Knowledge is Power
OccMed Colorado recently piloted a seminar for a few of its clients on the subject of Identifying, Articulating and Reacting Properly to Drug Induced Behavior. Mark Ashby, a Thornton police officer who specializes in drug and DUI training for law enforcement, keynoted the session.
He started by presenting a few facts…
- Impaired workers cause preventable injuries, damage equipment and hurt productivity.
- Illicit drug users account for 16.4% of the full-time employed population.
- Drug users are likely to miss close to three working days a month due to illness or injury.
- Employees who suffer from drug impairment are at a greater risk of harming themselves and others.
… and a few alarming statistics:
- 500 million workdays are lost each year due to alcoholism.
- Impaired employees are likely to miss 8-40 days per year.
- Impaired employees cost U.S. businesses nearly $100 billion each year in decreased productivity, absences, workers’ comp claims and accidents.
“Impaired employees cost you money,” Ashby said. “They place you at risk for production loss, increased workers’ comp claims and diminished morale. You need to learn how to identify impairment before it costs you and your business.”
His presentation went on to provide attendees with an overview of drug and substance abuse trends in the metro area. These include illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, as well as those that are not against the law such as inhalants, energy drinks and K2 “incense,” which is a hallucinogen. Ashby also laid out the outward signs of drug abuse.
According to Monika Valentine, executive director of OccMed Colorado, it is her hope that the seminar’s next installment will also include a discussion of assessment procedures and a review of the ways to properly confront an impaired employee.
“We want to help employers do their jobs better and lower their workers’ comp costs,” she said. “We hope programs like this add value to our role as their occupational healthcare provider.”
Are you interested in attending a future seminar on Identifying, Articulating and Reacting Properly to Drug Induced Behavior? If so, please let Monika know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-341-1799.