Effective Workplace Policies & Responses

The most effective responses to AOD harm in the workplace incorporate a "whole of workplace"  approach. This approach focuses on:

  • identifying and managing workers with a substance abuse problem
  • managing workers who experience few alcohol or drug problems (e.g., an occasional hangover), but who contribute to greater AOD-related harm and losses in the workplace. 

 

Workplace Interventions

Workplace interventions at a minimum need to involve the following:

1. The development and implementation of a formal workplace policy that is:

  • widely disseminated
  • implemented throughout the workplace at all levels and
  • specifically designed to meet the operating conditions of the workplace.

2. Provision of on-going education and training including:

  • awareness programs that ensure all workers are aware of the organisation's AOD policy and the implications of AOD use for health and safety
  • training that builds knowledge of the policy and skills in managing workplace alcohol-related issues among key staff who are expected to implement the policy.

3. Access to rehabilitation and treatment that is:

  • confidential
  • easily accessible.

 

Other Strategies

A recent systematic review of workplace interventions (Webb, Shakeshaft, Sanson-Fisher, & Havard, 2009) revealed few quality studies, however, four strategies were identified that had the potential to produce positive results. These strategies were:

  • health promotion
  • brief interventions
  • peer interventions
  • psychosocial skills training.

 

NCETA Resources

NCETA's workplace wellbeing and alcohol and other drug interventions have demonstrated improvements in several key high risk workforces, including the hospitality and manufacturing sectors. 

For more detailed information on workplace interventions see:

  • Battams, S., Roche, A.M., Fischer, J., Lee, N., Cameron, J., & Kostadinov, V. (2014). Workplace risk factors for anxiety and depression in male-dominated industries: a systematic review. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 2(1), 983–1008.
  • Cameron, J., Pidd, K., Lee, N., & Roche, A.M. (2014). Implementing a workplace alcohol intervention in the manufacturing sector: Early outcomes from the workplace reduction of alcohol-related harms program. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(Supplement 1), 20.
  • Cameron, J., Pidd, K., Roche, A.M., & Lee, N. (2013). WRAHP– A Pilot Project To Reduce Alcohol-Related Harm In the Workplace. Drug and Alcohol Review, 32(Supplement 1), 29.
  • Lee, N., Cameron, J., Pidd, K., & Roche, A. (2013). Alcohol-related harm pilot project: Workplace reduction in alcohol project. Creating Healthy Workplaces: Early insights from VicHealth Pilot Projects.
  • Lee, N., Roche, A.M., Duraisingam, V., Fischer, J., & Cameron, J. (2014). Effective interventions for high prevalence mental health disorders in male-dominated workplaces: A systematic review. Mental Health Review Journal, 19(4), 237-250.
  • National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (2006). Responding to alcohol and other drug issues in the workplace: An information and resource package. Adelaide, South Australia: National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University.
  • National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (2006). A training kit to respond to alcohol and other drug issues in the workplace. Adelaide: NCETA.
  • Pidd, K. (2005). The workplace as a setting for addressing adolescent risky drinking. DrugInfo, Febuary 3(3), 5.
  • Pidd, K. (2005). Workplace culture and alcohol use. Of Substance, The National Magazine on Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs, 3(1), 18-21.
  • Pidd, K., Boeckmann, R., & Morris, M. (2006). Adolescents in transition: The role of workplace alcohol and other drug policies as a prevention strategy. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 13(4), 353-365.
  • Pidd, K., Kostadinov, V., & Roche, A. (2015). Do workplace policies work? An examination of the relationship between AOD policies and workers' substance use. International Journal of Drug Policy.
  • Pidd, K., & Roche, A. (2006). Workplaces: A greenfield site for AOD prevention and intervention. ADCA News, 30, 10-11.
  • Pidd, K., Roche, A., & Wilson, P. (2011). Young Workers and Workplace Safety: Guidelines for managing alcohol and other drug risk. Adelaide, South Australia: National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University.
  • Pidd, K., & Roche, A.M. (2008). Changing workplace cultures: An integrated model for the prevention and treatment of alcohol-related problems. In D. Moore & P. Dietze (Eds.), Drugs and Public Health (pp. 49-59). Melbourne, Australia: Oxford.
  • Pidd, K., & Roche, A.M. (2009). Prevention of alcohol-related harm in the workplace. [Paper]. Prevention Research Quarterly(10), 1-9.
  • Pidd, K., & Roche, A.M. (2013). Workplace alcohol and other drug programs: What is good practice? PolicyTalk.
  • Pidd, K., Roche, A.M., & Kostadinov, V. (2014). An examination of the relationship between workplace alcohol and other drug strategies and employees’ consumption patterns. Drug and Alcohol Review, 33(Supplement 1), 51.
  • Roche, A.M. (2006). Workplaces: Ideal, but overlooked, intervention sites for alcohol and drug use. In Touch: Newsletter of the Public Health Association of Australia, 23(5).
  • Roche, A.M. (2009, September 09). NCETA and workplace alcohol and other drug issues. Drug Info Newsletter, 8, 3.
  • Roche, A.M., Fischer, J., Pidd, K., Lee, N., Battams, S., & Nicholas, R. (2012). Workplace mental illness and substance use disorders in male-dominated industries: A systematic literature review. Adelaide, South Australia: National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA), Flinders University.

 

Other Resources

Webb, G., Shakeshaft, A., Sanson-Fisher, R., & Havard, A. (2009). A systematic review of workplace interventions for alcohol-related problems. Addiction, 104(3), 365-377.