Intoxication and workers' comp: What every employer should know

Keeping the workplace as safe as possible should be a top priority for all employers. But accidents can happen even when you’ve taken steps to prevent them. When employees don’t follow safety procedures, injuries on the job are more likely to occur, but even more so when intoxicating substances are involved. Here, we share what every employer should know about workers’ comp and intoxication.

The injured worker will still receive benefits

The state of Colorado doesn’t deny workers’ comp benefits to injured employees, and this includes workers who were under the influence during work hours. But if the injury was caused by the employee’s intoxication, he or she may be penalized with reduced benefits. If you have reason to believe that your employee was injured due to intoxication or use of a controlled substance, you’ll need to submit proof of the individual’s failure to follow workplace procedures.

You have the right to request blood alcohol testing

While it’s uncomfortable for everyone when intoxication in the workplace is suspected, employers have the right to ask for a blood alcohol test. Keep in mind that you should only request additional testing if you’ve noticed the glaring signs of intoxication: slurred speech, staggering or a sighting of drug or alcohol use at the worksite.

Post workplace rules in an easily visible location

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In the best working environments, each team member knows what’s expected of them. It’s good policy to post workplace rules in a prominent place. When everyone’s on the same page and there’s a written record of clear expectations, it’s easier to avoid mishaps. For best results, try implementing a training program for each new hire, and hold workshops occasionally to refresh seasoned veterans. Offering an Employee Assistance Program can head off a variety of emotional and health-related problems that can lead to substance abuse.

The use of drugs and alcohol can play a major role in causing work-related injuries. While intoxication on the job is relatively rare, it’s a must to ensure that everyone involved is covered.

When you’re ready, we are here to help. To get a quote please call, email, or stop by either of our locations. We’ll work with you to get your company cost contained with the state and, when possible, enrolled in our Safety Group.