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Drug-Free Workplace Alliance

About the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance
Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Members
Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Goals
Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Accomplishments
Drug-Free Workplace Alliance News Releases
Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Annual Reports
OSHA Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Page


About the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance

The Drug-Free Workplace Alliance is a DOL cooperative agreement focused on improving worker safety and health through drug-free workplace programs. It is focused on the construction industry, which research shows has high rates of worker alcohol and drug abuse—a serious concern given that it also tops the list of industries with the highest rates of occupational accidents and injuries.

The Alliance is led by DOL’s Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace program and managed cooperatively with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). It launched in October 2004, when U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao signed the original agreement with the presidents of four international labor unions. An addendum to the agreement adding four additional unions and five contractor/owner associations was signed in July 2006. Then, in October 2006, all 13 members signed a renewal agreement continuing the Alliance agreement for another two years.

Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Members

Unions:

Associations:

Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Goals

Ultimately, the Alliance strives to increase the number of construction industry workers who work in environments that:

  • Recognize employees have the right to work in an environment free of the hazards of drug abuse;
  • Encourage individuals with substance abuse problems to seek help and return to work as productive members of the workforce; and
  • Are supportive of individuals in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse disorders.

To this end, Alliance activities center around three main goals:

  • To develop training and education programs on workplace substance abuse and disseminate them to the construction industry;
  • To conduct outreach and communication to the construction industry to educate about available drug-free workplace tools and assistance; and
  • To promote the national dialogue on workplace safety and health by raising awareness of and demonstrating a commitment to drug-free workplaces.

Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Accomplishments

Training and Educational Programs

Early on, Alliance members identified the need for a variety of training and educational materials, including worker-friendly brochures and presentations, on workplace alcohol and drug abuse prevention. DOL subsequently developed several products, including:

  • What Can I Do? – This employee education curriculum aims to empower workers to take positive action if they believe a co-worker may have an alcohol or drug problem and is appropriate for all industries, not just construction. It is presented as a guide for trainers and is intended to facilitate discussion among participants.
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  • First-Line Fact Sheet – This one-page fact sheet is an educational resource for supervisors, managers and foremen to help them understand their role in preventing worker substance abuse and their role in enforcing their company’s drug-free workplace policy. Also available in Spanish.
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  • Fast Facts – This pocket card for workers discusses the importance of working drug-free and provides sources of help for those who may be struggling to do so. Information is presented in English on one side and Spanish on the other.
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  • Tool Box Talks – These are a series of five brief speeches intended for delivery by foreman on construction worksites about the importance of working drug free to safety.

As part of the Alliance, DOL also developed Building Drug-Free Workplaces in the Construction Industry, a PowerPoint® slide presentation intended for delivery to construction owners/contractors about steps they can take to prevent alcohol abuse within their workforce and industry. It includes a suggested script, but both the script and the slides may be modified as appropriate for specific audiences.

Conferences and Publications

One way DOL and Alliance members spread the message about the value of drug-free workplaces is by speaking and distributing information at industry conferences and special events. DOL representatives and Alliance members have joined forces to speak and disseminate drug-free workplace information at numerous events attracting construction industry employers and workers and occupational safety and health professionals. For listings of specific events, read the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance’s Annual Reports.

DOL and Alliance members have also worked together to raise awareness about the topic of workplace alcohol and drug abuse through articles in members’ publications, as well as industry-wide publications, such as Construction Safety News.

Drug-Free Work Week

A major Alliance initiative is national Drug-Free Work Week, an annual public awareness campaign that educates about the importance of working drug free to workplace safety and health. During Drug-Free Work Week, Alliance members distribute drug-free workplace materials to members, publish articles in member publications and help facilitate local-level training and educational activities. Drug-Free Work Week is held each October, and organizations in all industries, not just construction, are encouraged to participate. To learn how, visit the Working Partners Web site’s Drug-Free Work Week page.

Working Drug-Free Works Poster and Sticker

Working Drug-Free Works poster

Alliance members suggested the development of and helped disseminate a new poster featuring images of construction workers and a positive message about the value of working drug free. To help spread the message beyond just the construction industry, DOL also developed a variation of this poster appropriate for all industries. Both versions can be downloaded and printed or ordered from the Working Partners Web site’s Training and Educational Materials page. Spanish versions are also available.

Alliance members have also distributed "Working Drug-Free Works” hard-hat stickers to thousands of construction industry workers at worksites around the country. Packages of these stickers may be ordered by e-mailing Working Partners.

Involvement in National Campaigns

The Drug-Free Workplace Alliance also works to support other nationwide alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts and awareness campaigns. For example, each September, Alliance members help promote National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) by sharing information about related resources with their members. In addition, members have assisted by reviewing a guide for unions on alcohol and drug use disorders and have been interviewed during webcasts about the role of organized labor and employers in supporting the recovery movement.

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, held November 30, 2006, also benefited from Alliance support. Members used the occasion to inform their members about new resources available to help them understand how methamphetamine may affect their workplaces, including a web page and presentation developed specially for employers and employees about the issue.

Drug-Free Workplace Alliance News Releases

Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Annual Reports

OSHA Drug-Free Workplace Alliance Page