SC&RA signs up to the Drug-Free Workplace Alliance programme

25 April 2008

SC&RA was among five contractor associations and four unions recently added by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to its Drug-Free Workplace Alliance, an agreement to improve workplace safety and health in construction through substance abuse prevention and intervention.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao signed the agreement expanding the Alliance at a ceremony on 10 July at the new headquarters of the U.S. Census Bureau in Suitland, Maryland. Joining SC&RA as new signatories are:

• American Road & Transportation Builders Association

• Associated General Contractors of America

• International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers

• International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

• Laborers' International Union of North America

• National Asphalt Pavement Association

• NEA – The Association of Union Constructors

• Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association

• United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada.

The expansion brings the total number in the Alliance to 13. The Alliance is led by DOL's Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace programme and managed cooperatively with DOL's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Activities focus on educating workers about the importance of being drug free to improving workplace safety and sources of help for workers who have problems with alcohol or other drugs.

Accomplishments to date include developing and distributing training and information; raising awareness about substance abuse through industry events and publications; and identifying and promoting drug-free workplace best practices. This fall, the Alliance also plans to conduct the first “Drug-Free Work Week” campaign to further heighten awareness of the benefits of drug- free workplace programs.

DOL established the Alliance because research shows that construction and mining top the list of industries with the highest rates of alcohol and other drug abuse. However, no industry is immune to the hazards alcohol and drug abuse can cause.

Employers can learn more about steps they can take to protect employee safety and health through drug-free workplace programmes at: www.dol.gov/workingpartners

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