Hazard and challenge for each and every company
The consumption of alcohol and drugs as well as the abuse of prescription medication involves all age groups and social strata. The figures for Germany illustrate just how widespread the use of intoxicating substances is:
» One in 5 adults (aged 18 to 64) have a problem with alcohol consumption 1
» One in 10 adults are seriously affected by a problem relating to the use of drugs or prescription medication 1,2,3
These issues affect companies and institutions in all sectors. Their responsibility for ensuring general safety in the workplace and towards their employees dictates that action is essential. For example, companies need to consider that addicts may be more likely to take risks and have slowed reactions. In addition to the direct physical effects of these substances, changes to work habits and social behavior can pose further risks.
Companies are liable!
Should employers choose to close their eyes to these issues, they are in breach of their duty of care – and may be held liable if accidents occur in the workplace.
1. Substance-Related Problems in the Workplace”, published by the Deutsche Hauptstelle für Suchtfragen (German Centre for Addiction Issues), 2011
2. “Annual Report of the Deutsche Beobachtungsstelle für Drogensucht” (German Monitoring Centre for Drug Addiction), 2010
3. Report “World situation with regard to drug abuse”, 2012