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Point of Interest: Dealing With Impairment At Work - Keeping Each Other Safe

Monday, 26 March 2018

Impairment is a reduced ability to perform a task; this can come in different forms. The ones we immediately think about are alcohol and drugs, but impairment can come from other sources such as lack of sleep or over the counter or prescription medications.

Construction is already one of the most dangerous industries, without having to be exposed to the risks of impairment. It is estimated that 10% of all workplace accidents are impairment related. When someone is impaired, they are statistically more likely to hurt those around them than they are to hurt themselves.

Most workers, when impaired, cannot recognize the symptoms in themselves. The key to impairment identification is that the worker is acting differently than they normally do. While signs and symptoms vary greatly depending on the cause and severity, the key is to identify that the individual's behaviour and/or ability to perform their assigned tasks has been impacted.

We all must ‘Care Enough To Act' when it comes to suspected impairment. Just as we would not walk by an unsafe condition, we cannot ignore someone who is suspected to be impaired. The main goal must always be to keep our workplace safe and to ensure workers are healthy, both at work and at home. This is why Kenaidan has a comprehensive wellness plan for its employees.

Any worker who is suspected of being impaired, for any reason, should be reminded of the resources that are available to them. Having someone to talk to, getting more information, or knowing their coworkers are concerned can help someone recognize that there is a problem and lead them to take action to move towards a path of self-improvement.