Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.
Too Impaired to Work
In every industry, employees need to be healthy and focused to stay safe at work. Impairment is a major roadblock to workplace safety and the effects are more common than you think.
The more you know about the risks of impairment and how they can arise, the better you can judge your ability to work safely.
- Missing just a few hours of sleep can hamper your driving abilities. Even if you only drive to and from work, this can be a serious risk.
- If you regularly have trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about getting screened for sleep disorders
- Many prescription drugs, including opioids and others, can impair your ability to work and drive
- Before starting a new prescription, ask your doctor about any potential side effects and how it might impact your ability to work or drive
- Cannabis taken in any form and at any dose can have varying effects for different amounts of time. Even if cannabis is legal for recreational purposes in your state, educate yourself on its impairing effects and your employer’s policies to stay safe.
- Impairment begins with the first drink. Just because you have experienced feelings of impairment from alcohol before does not mean you can overcome them or work through them.
- Emotional impairment is another serious risk. If something is causing you stress or anxiety, whether on the job or back home, it can affect your focus at work and potentially make you less safe.
- Do not take chances. Nothing – not a doctor’s prescription or past experience with an impairing substance – is an excuse to work unsafely