Drugs/Alcohol in the workplace.

Drugs in our society, be they licit or illicit, are not uncommon.  Operating equipment of any kind or the workplace is not suitable for drug use (including some prescription drugs).   The reason being is that many drugs can affect or impair mental and physical function.  On the job, one must be able to recognize and appropriately respond to ever-changing environments and hazards.

While OSHA does not have a specific drug regulation it does strongly support measures contributing to a drug-free environment and reasonable programs of drug testing.  Even without a specific drug/alcohol standard, OSHA could use its General Duty Clause to address workplace hazards.

The wise move for an employer, develop and implement a strong drug/alcohol policy and program.  If such a program is implemented be sure to act on it consistently, fairly, and thoroughly.

For more information visit OSHA and look at the OSHA Letter of Interpretation dated May 2, 1998.