Ohio State University Extension http://agsafety.osu.edu

Agricultural Safety and Health Program

Ohio State University Extension

Drug Free Workplace Program

The agricultural industry can have it’s own unique set of workplace hazards including operating heavy equipment, working with livestock, encountering a variety of work surfaces, and working in extreme weather.  Adding alcohol or drug use to an already potentially hazardous work environment can have disastrous consequences to the health and safety of employees and the economic well-being of the employer.

Businesses pay a high price for alcohol and drug abuse. Obvious costs can include increased absences, increased injuries, fatalities, property damage, and errors in production. Additional hidden costs can include, low employee morale, lost productivity, theft, and legal liabilities. All of these outcomes are equally harmful to workplace safety. Because of this, OSHA and Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation recognize the value of establishing a Drug Free Workplace Program to foster safer, drug-free and more healthful workplaces and protect employees' health and safety.

A Drug Free Workplace Program provides information, guidance, and access to training that will help employees, supervisors and managers understand the benefits of drug-free workplace programs. In an effort to protect employees' health and safety, a Drug Free Workplace Program focuses on educating workers on safety and productivity hazards created by the abuse of alcohol and other drugs in the workplace.

A well - designed Drug Free Workplace Program can help employers more effectively prevent on-the-job injuries and illness by integrating drug-free efforts into their overall workplace safety program. This approach can help employers achieve both long-range safety and cost-saving benefits.

Positives to implementing a Drug Free Workplace Program include:

  • Employers with successful drug-free workplace programs report decreases in absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft; increases in productivity; and overall improved morale.

  • Employers with longstanding programs report better health status among many employees and family members and decreased use of medical benefits.

Ohio State University supports and maintains a drug free work and living environment to provide for the health and safety of students, employees and visitors.  Information on OSU’s Drug Free Workplace  Policy and additional Human Resource policies can be found at http://hr.osu.edu/policy/.

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If you have any questions, please contact Kent McGuire (CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator) at mcguire.225@osu.edu or (614) 292-0588.