Drug and Alcohol Fact Sheets

In Australia, alcohol and tobacco are legal substances enjoyed by many adults. Indeed, enjoying a drink is considered part of the Australian way of life. If people choose to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in their private lives it is their own business. But if they do it in the workplace or come to work affected by alcohol and drugs and pose a risk, it becomes the concern of their employer.

Under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, employees also have a responsibility to take reasonable care for the health and safety of others and cooperate with employers in their efforts to provide a safe workplace.

The development of a workplace Alcohol and Other Drugs policy should generally be included with the workplace’s occupational health, safety and welfare policies. In this context, prevention strategies relating to the misuse of alcohol and other drugs should be developed in accordance with appropriate risk assessment and control principles.

Alcohol and Other Drug policies should also be linked, where appropriate, to the workplace’s performance management systems for issues relating to poor performance, and to the workplace’s disciplinary procedures, which may be required as a last resort.