Do you have Substance Abuse Policies in place?

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Do you have Substance Abuse Policies in place?

The matter of Mthembu and 2 others v NCT Durban Wood Chips (September 2018), showed us that employers and the CCMA have zero tolerance when it comes to substance abuse, and that policies are required to be in place.

The facts were laid out like this as to why the CCMA agreed that the 3 employees were fairly dismissed:

  • The employers business has dangerous and large machinery moving in and around their premises on a daily basis, such as a clipper that rotates at 5000RPM, and as these employees jobs were directly related to these machines, there was the danger of them causing harm to themselves and others, never mind damage to the machinery
  • Their jobs were of a log deck assistance, a knife sharpener and a weigh-bridge operator, which further impacted that their ability to perform these roles could be impacted by being under the influence of cannabis
  • They had received the substance abuse policy and they had regular discussions around the matter within their groups, so there was no excuse for claiming to not understand the rules

If you don’t have the correct policies, practices and procedures in place, you may be opening up your company to legal claims, and of course the possibility of health and safety issues.

While the private cultivation and use of cannabis have been passed, it does not allow for use when it impacts on the health and safety of others, especially in a work environment.

Download the Substance Abuse Policy should you not have this in place yet.

West Coast Personnel are always finding ways to assist employers so that they stay on the straight on narrow.  If you have any queries on what you need in place, please reach out today.


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