Alcohol and drugs, including medicines prescribed by a doctor or available from a pharmacy, can affect a person’s ability to work safely. Workers must be fit and well enough to do their job, not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or use alcohol or illegal drugs while at work.

The use of drugs and alcohol by workers can have a negative influence on health and safety systems at work. The use of drugs and alcohol recreationally may impact on the ability to work safely, as the effects can be present for a long period of time after consumption.

A person whose work performance or behaviour is impaired by drugs or alcohol is a risk to the health and safety of themselves and others. For this reason, businesses must have measures in place to protect their business, and more importantly, their workers and the worker whose performance or behaviour is impaired.

Some companies have explicit policies to test their workers for alcohol and illicit substances.