Workplace safety is a top priority for any organisation, especially safety-sensitive industries like transport, mining and aviation, where accidents and injuries can have serious consequences for employees, family members and even the company as a whole.
Perhaps the biggest threat to workplace safety is alcohol consumption which is known to impair judgement, coordination, reaction time, vision and many other senses and psychomotor skills that are necessary to carry out tasks and responsibilities when on the job. Whether it’s due to stress, peer pressure or alcohol addiction, employees that consume alcohol when on the job pose a risk to themselves and the general public.
To prevent alcohol-related accidents and ensure sobriety on the job, organisations turn to breathalysers as a key tool in ensuring workplace safety. Here, we’ll explore how workplace breathalysers play a role in ensuring safety around the clock to avoid alcohol-related accidents and injuries.
Workplace alcohol policies are designed to regulate the use of alcohol at the workplace and also to ensure that employees are fit to perform their duties safely and effectively. One common type of alcohol policy is a zero-tolerance policy which prohibits employees from consuming any amount of alcohol on the job or during work-related events.
This policy is often used in industries where safety is a critical concern, such as transportation, manufacturing and construction. Since these industries are safety-sensitive, even a small amount of alcohol can pose a significant risk to employees and the public.
Other companies may allow some level of alcohol consumption but only under specific conditions.
In addition to formal policies, some workplaces may have unwritten or informal rules about alcohol use. Understanding workplace alcohol policies is important for both employees and employers. By following these policies, employees can help ensure their own safety as well as the safety of the public. Employers can benefit from clear and consistent policies as they can help reduce the risk of liabilities.
Benefits of using workplace breathalysers
Apart from using breathalysers, other methods to determine a person’s BAC or blood alcohol content/concentration is through a blood, saliva or urine test. However, these methods may be seen as invasive and troublesome. A breathalyser is the easiest and most reliable way to estimate a person’s intoxication level. Some benefits of using a breathalyser at the workplace include
- Deterrence – Employees knowing that regular breath tests are being held in their workplace will deter them from drinking on the job as they could be penalised if caught.
- Prevention – By identifying intoxicated individuals on the job, health and safety officials can make the relevant decisions to remove them from the workplace before any accidents can happen.
- Cost savings – Compared to other methods of testing listed above, using a breathalyser is the most cost-effective way to measure intoxication levels among employees. By preventing accidents and injuries, breathalysers can also help companies avoid the cost associated with accidents at the workplace.
- Improved reputation – A workplace that prioritizes safety and sobriety can help improve its reputation among customers, investors, stakeholders and the general public. This can help attract top talent and enhance the company’s overall brand and image.
By promoting sobriety on the job and ensuring compliance with alcohol policies, breathalysers help create a safer, fairer and more productive workplace for everyone.
Choosing the right breathalyser for workplace use
When it comes to choosing the right industrial breathalyser for workplace use, there are several factors to consider. When choosing a breathalyser, it’s important to consider the following:
- Accuracy – Accuracy is the most important aspect of a breathalyser, as accurate readings are essential to avoid false positives. Andatech industrial breathalysers are Australian Standard AS 3547 certified for providing accurate results.
- Ease of use – Andatech breathalysers are easy to use, with clear instructions and simple operations. Models such as the Andatech Surety and Andatech Prodigy S have an optional online training module.
- Portability – Having a portable handheld breathalyser is easier to carry around to manage multiple work sites. When considering the portability of a breathalyser, it’s vital to pay attention to the size, weight and power source used for the device. Andatech also offers wall-mounted breathalysers with multi features for convenient alcohol testing.
- Connectivity – Units like the Andatech Prodigy 3 have a built-in GPS and internet connectivity on the unit, allowing the breathalyser to record result details and upload them to the Andalink cloud data management system.
By choosing the right breathalyser for your workplace, you can help ensure the safety and well-being of your employees while also protecting your organisation from potential liability. Ultimately, the use of workplace or industrial breathalysers is just one part of a larger commitment to safety at the workplace.
By creating a culture of safety and responsibility, employers can ensure that their workplaces are safe, productive, and rewarding environments for all.
For more information on alcohol and drug testing in Australia, check out the following resources:
- How many standard drinks to 0.05?
- When can you drive after drinking?
- Drug detection windows
- Drink driving penalties in Australia
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.
Written by Jaka Exstrada