Medical aid and insurance providers generally reject claims for accidents that are alcohol or drug related in the workplace.

 

Employers should ensure that they are providing a safe working environment by taking all measures necessary to prevent employee accidents that are caused by alcohol consumption or drug abuse.

 

Employees that report for duty under the influence of alcohol or drug abuse present is a real danger to themselves, their colleagues and their employer. The use thereof affects sight, speech, co-ordination and reaction speed, which is extremely hazardous when that person is working with machinery or driving a vehicle.

 

Ordinarily, these costs would be covered by the Compensation Fund or the employer’s insurance if the injury occurred during the scope and course of the individual’s job. However, the employer shall be disqualified from claiming benefits where drugs or alcohol are the primary cause of the incident.

 

Similarly, where an individual is involved in a road accident and tests positive for alcohol levels above the legal limit, most vehicle insurance providers will not pay their claim. Standard policy wording allows for a claim to be repudiated if the driver is “under the influence or exceeds the legal limit”.

 

 

BERNARD REISNER

Cape Labour & Industrial Consultants