Page images
PDF
EPUB

Employee Involvement With Drugs

Ceneral: It is the policy of PSE&C to take action against employees who unlawfully use, distribute or possess drugs or controlled substances during or outside Company hours.

Purpose:
This is a guideline to prevent illegal activities and to protect employees, the public and
Company property from any danger which may result from the use of drugs.

Objective:
The objective of this policy is to provide and maintain a safe, drug-free work environment.

Scope: Employees who unlawfully use, distribute or possess drugs or controlled substances while on Company time or on Company property will be subject to discharge Illegal substances will be confiscated and turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Employees found to be unlawfully involved with drugs or controlled substances on their own time will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge, or job reassignment. if such involvement has or may have an adverse effect on the Company. Examples of adverse effect are impaired work performance, endangered safety of employees and the public. :************ passy. The Company will take action against employees arrested for off-the-job drug activity. In deciding what action to take, the Company will consider the nature of the charges, job assignment. record with the Company and other factors related to the impact of arrest upon the conduct of Company business. . Employees with personal drug problems are encouraged to request assistance from the Personal Cuidance Program. Voluntary participation in the Personal Cuidance Program is treated on a confidential basis. In addition, while voluntary participation in a drug rehabilitawill not prevent the Company from taking disciplinary action where warninted. Employees undergoing prescribed medical treatment with a drug or controlled substance which may alter their physical or mental ability must have their physician report this fact to the Company Medical Director. It may be necessary to change an employee's job assignment while the employee is undergoing treatment.

The Vice President-Human Resources administers this policy.
The Vice President and Ceneral Counsel interprets this policy.
The Medical Director interprets and monitors this policy as it relates to medical matters.
An avervisory personnel implement this policy.

- —" -
2. Effective
Policy Communication

Effective Policy Communication: How company policy is communicated—by whom, to
whom, and in what context—is as important as the message itself. Companies need to
have chief executive officer endorsement and line-management involvement when the
policy is communicated. However, a number of steps must be taken before the policy is
actually explained and interpreted to employees:
a. The chief executive officer and top management must be fully briefed and involved in
the approval of the policy. - -
b. Senior management—plant and division managers—must be given health and safety
information and a preview of the general policy communication that will be repeated
throughout the company in the various work locations.
c. Employees should be briefed verbally and given a copy of the company policy in writ-
ing. Ideally, these meetings should be scheduled at plant locations and presided over
by the facility's senior manager, accompanied by a health professional from outside the
company who can interpret the health and safety hazards of drug and alcohol abuse
and can answer questions on how such use and abuse on and off the job affects job
performance.
d. Supervisors will recognize the need for the company policy. They should become
familiar with the procedures to be followed for policy implementation with respect to
fitness for duty. Special training should be given on the signals and warning signs of
deteriorating job performance associated with drug and alcohol abuse. This training is
not a substitute for attendance at employee meetings when the policy is explained and
the health and safety hazards go drugs discussed.
e. Company monthly newsletters or magazines should reference the issuance and imple-
mentation of the company policy. Utilizing the company newsletter reinforces the -
importance the company attaches to the program and goes to the employee's residence
to deliver the message. Often the newsletter is shared with family members, and it
may provoke discussion within the family on the problem of drugs and alcohol,
whether it relates to school use, community use. personal use. or friends or relatives
who may be involved in alcohol or drug dependency.
f. Bulletin boards. signs, and welcome booklets, supervisory guides, personnel manuals.
industrial relations in-service training brochures, should include a copy of the policy
and such guidance as is appropriate. -
Prior to communication within the company, union leadership should be briefed on the
policy and the implementation plan, within the context of the health and safety objectives
of the company and the need to protect all of the employees from the hazards of drug
and alcohol abuse and the accidents caused on the job as a result thereof.
Law enforcement liaison visits should be scheduled by plant superintendents in con-
junction with security representatives.
Contractors should be put on notice with respect to the company policy.
The Medical, Employee Assistance, Industrial Relations and Security units of the com-
pany should be given additional guidance and instruction as to their respective roles.
Following these internal and external briefings, the company can communicate to its
employees and supervisors in a scheduled manner at individual plant, division, district
office, headquarters, and -
A

technical
locations.

meeting; per day would be required to minimize disruption to plant or facility operations. During this briefing, a copy of the company's drug and alcohol abuse policy should tributed, accompanied, if possible, with specific written health and safety information on drugs and alcohol. Supervisors would attend one such health and safety meeting during the day and would be given additional training on their responsibilities with respect to company policy and warning signs and indicators of possible drug and alcohol abuse associated with deteriorating job performance. The principal company official would outline the supervisor's

safety expert would describe the deteriorating job performance warning signs and would answer questions relating to the impact drug and alcohol use on and off the job has on job performance, judgment. physical dexterity and behavior.

Company Policy Communication Plan

1. Croup meetings for plant. division or office employees, including management. chaired by
line manager (area manager, station superintendent. department head, etc.). Meetings to
be held at plant. division or office location.
Discussion of drug and alcohol abuse and company policy:
Health and safety impact of drug and alcohol use-presentation by medical expert-health
professional
Explanation of company policy-presentation by plant. division or unit manager.
Each meeting would last one hour and normally would be attended by approximately
40–50 employees, in accordance with facility operating requirements, work schedule, etc.
2. Croup meetings for all supervisory employees chaired by the line manager (station super-
intendent department head. district manager, etc.).
Fitness for duty determination-presentation by medical expert-health professional.
Supervisory guidelines for administering the company policy-presentation by plant.
division. unit manager.
Each meeting would probably last 45 minutes to one hour. Supervisors should attend
employee group meetings also.

NOTE: Questions for the health professional and/or management would be encouraged for all meetings.

|

[ocr errors]

The company will be taking a tougher stand against employees who abuse the use of drugs—on or of the job. The airn of the new policy, which went into effect on April 25, is three-fold: To prevent illegal activities, to protect employees, company property and the public from any danger which may result from the use of drugs, and to provide and maintain a safe, drug-free work environment. The policy embraces a number of efforts to help all employees become better educated about the dangers of drug abuse and to provide personal and confidential aid to those who may have a drug problem, no matter how slight. The policy was developed by a special task force made up of representatives from the industrial relations. safety and security, employee relations, and medical departments. The task force's work was carried out under the direction of W. Kenneth Huggler, assistant vice president-human resources, in conjunction with the company's employee relations committee. and the various aspects of the policy will be implemented under the guidance of the human resources department. All employees will receive a copy of the policy by ecrly May, along with a letter of endorsement signed by the company's president. Harold W. Sotin. The new policy contains five major points: • Employees who unlawfully use, distribute or possess drugs or controlled substances while on company time or on company property will be subject to discharge. Illegal substances will be confiscated and turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency. • Employees found to be unlawfully involved with drugs or controlled substances on their own time will be subject to disciplinary action, including discharge or job reassignment. if there has been or could be an adverse effect on the company, such as impaired work performance, endangerment of employees or the public or the improper use of company property

• The company will take action against employees arrested for off-the-job drug activity. In determining the measures against an employee, the company will consider, among other things. the nature of the charges, job assignment. and record with the company.

• Employees with personal drug problems will be encouraged to request assistance voluntarily from the confidential Personal Cuidance Program. However, participation in the program will not prevent the company from taking disciplinary action where warranted.

Employees undergoing prescribed medical treatment with a drug or controlled substance which may alter their physical or mental ability will be required to have their physician make

The
now
policy
makes PS
E&G
one
of the
first
util
ities
in the
nation to
take a
strong

[merged small][ocr errors]

mard Reilly, the company's medical director, was also on the task force.
The EEI study was sparked. Tuosto explained by a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
proposal last August that companies with a mudear reactor establish and implement "fitness
for duty" controls over employees who have unrestricted access to the plant. In essence, the
proposal was designed to keep an employee who may be under the influence of drugs or alco-
hol out of a nuclear plant.
Tuosto said the utility industry believes, however, that any drug problem a company faces
would not be limited to a nuclear plant. As a result, the task force was formed to define the
problem. industry-wide, and recommend methods to cope with or prevent drug problems in
an entire company, not just a nuclear station.
The task force hired Chicago consultant Peter B. Bensinger, who served as head of the
federal Drug Enforcement Administration from 1976 to 1981, to help with the effort.
The task force completed its work in February and concluded that the utility industry was
experiencing drug-related problems "no worse, but no better" than industry in general. Tuosto
said. The general consensus, though not absolute, is that upwards to 7% of the nation's
workforce is involved with the misuse of drugs, he said.
Utilities are now being encouraged by the EEI task force to develop a policy that will deal
with any problems they may have.
PSE&C moved ahead with the developmert of its policy, even as the EEI task force was
finishing its work. "The company felt the need for drug awareness was important so we got
started quickly," Tuosto said. "We want to insure a safe working environment for all of our
employees. The policy that has been developed is not meant to be punitive. Rather, it is
designed to be preventive."
There have been some drug-related incidents in the company over the years, Tuosto said.
"Ideally, it will be to everyone's benefit if there would be no more incidents here at PSE&C."
he said. "Perhaps this new policy, with its provisions for drug awareness and personal help.
will set us in that direction." -

« PreviousContinue »