Sunday, March 25, 2018

DOT Supervisor Training: Handling Hangovers at Work

It happens to most people some of the time. We have a little too much to drink and wake up
DOT Truck Driver is hung over
feeling foggy, achy and sluggish. Some have pounding head, others throw up all morning. But is a hung-over employee something to worry about? It depends. It all boils down to productivity, workplace disruption, and patterns of frequency, impact on coworkers, and more.

The problem is, it’s difficult to say if someone with a hangover is a safety risk. Although researchers know that coordination, decision-making and memory can be affected by abusing alcohol, it’s unclear how long these effects last. It depends on body weight, amount consumed, and whether the liver of the drinker is working optimally.

There are so many variables at play: the amount of alcohol consumed, the gender of the drinker, the drinker’s weight, the time of the last drink and more. Some people experiencing a hangover may have alcohol in their system because their liver is diseased, meaning that it works slower. This means that alcohol will hang around in the system longer.
Even managers with reasonable suspicion training may not know all the symptoms of a hangover. They include:

  • ·         Difficulty concentrating
  • ·         Trembling hands
  • ·         Sensitivity to light and noise
  • ·         Irritability
  • ·         Nausea or vomiting
  • ·         Clammy skin
  • ·         Sluggishness
  • ·         Slurred speech
  • ·         Faint smell of alcohol on skin and maybe breath
  • ·         Headache

DOT Supervisor Training
If you suspect an employee is hung-over, first refer to the company’s alcohol and drug policy. Do not let the employee with a DOT regulated position climb behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Different organizations handle hangovers differently or not all. What you do next depends on how well you know the employee and how frequently he comes to work hung-over. Safety and security are important, so consult with your supervisor to determine what your next move should be. Most employees who are hung-over will not be noticeable to those around them.

An occasional hangover may result in a less than stellar performance from the employee for a day. However, if every Monday the worker arrives at work hung-over, there’s a problem. Employees sometimes believe that anything they do on their own time is their business, but with a considerable number of hangovers the worker isn’t living up to his potential on the job.

Not only is production an issue, frequent hangovers may also indicate that truck drivers or other transportation employees may be drinking on the job, too. A little bit of “the hair of the dog” may help with shaking hands or other hangover symptoms, but it’s not conducive to a safe and happy work environment.

Long-term employees who show up on a Friday morning moving slowly after a big game the night before may not be a problem. Depending on how he feels, you may suggest he go home and sleep it off. However, problem drinking can develop at any age, so keep an eye on the occasional hangover, too. DOT Supervisor Training teaches managers to avoid letting employees drive who appear under the influence, but a hangover is evidence of recent alcohol consumption, so sending an employee for a reasonable suspicion drug test is a legitimate management decision.

Employee assistance programs are essential in getting help for workers who may have a drinking problem. Suggest the EAP if an employee seems to be struggling with any kind of addiction. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Six Ways to Sabotage Your Employee's Recovery

Six Ways to Sabotage Your Employee's Recovery: DOT Supervisor Training tips for managers to help them avoid practicing behavior or initiating discussions with recovering addicts that will sabotage their addiction recovery program