Staying Safe & Sober in the Workplace

Justin Goldblatt, general manager of Runrite Electronics, explains how alcohol abuse in the workplace can be overcome.

Alcohol is the most widely used and commonly available intoxicating substance. Alcohol testing has become commonplace in the industrial sector; primarily driven by health and safety legislation, which encourages testing to mitigate risk.

Many companies have implemented “zero tolerance” policies, meaning that testing has become compulsory, in addition to initiatives such as awareness programmes, site inductions and clinics.

Stay Safe and Sober

Best-practice alcohol testing

A transparent and repeatable procedure is imperative to the integrity of any alcohol control policy. We encourage a minimum two-test procedure. The initial test can be a simple passive screen test on a portable or fixed tester (such as the Alcolizer WM Lite) at the access point.

Should there be a failed test, the subject should be allowed a 20 to 30 minute window period before being tested with an active tester, such as our Alcolizer Series 5 device. This gives the employee the benefit of the doubt, while allowing the employer to mitigate the use of alcohol in the workplace.

The advantages of a wall-mounted alcohol tester

We have a guiding philosophy within our business: “The right to not offend”. This means that we want everyone to be able to understand and self-manage themselves, in order to avoid being prosecuted, or, in the case of labour law, face disciplinary action.

The use of wall-mounted self-testers by our mining clients has led to positive behaviour changes among their employees. It has also reduced pressure on human resource departments and security personnel to constantly “police” staff.

Apart from the self-testing concept, fixed, mounted breathalysers at turnstiles reduce human error and improve reporting on exceptions back to management _ either via the access-control software, or Runrite’s own AlcoCloud management tool.

Device calibration is vital

Calibration of equipment is vitally important and should always be done by a certified technician. The references should always be traceable to ensure the integrity of the calibration.

Equipment by Runrite Electronics makes use of unique, patented, modular calibration. This means that equipment never needs to leave the site; a simple swop of a module gets the equipment in order within 60 seconds.

You may need training …

Training requirements vary by company and industry. We tailor-make our training programmes to meet the demands of our clients; whether these are awareness programmes for employees, or familiarisation programmes for security personnel using the equipment.

We have an online training facility, meaning that we can service clients even in remote regions.


Everyone is Responsible for Safety


Safety is everyone’s responsibility!

image of safety equipment

As an employee, you should:

  1. Learn to work safely and take all rules seriously.
  2. Recognise hazards and avoid them.
  3. Report all accidents, injuries and illnesses to your supervisor immediately.
  4. Inspect tools before use to avoid injury.
  5. Wear all assigned Personal Protective Equipment.

On the other hand it is Managements responsibility to:

  1. Provide a safe and healthy workplace.
  2. Provide Personal Protective Equipment.
  3. Train employees in safe procedures and how to identify hazards.

Everyone must be aware of potential hazards on the job:

  1. Poor housekeeping results in slips, trips and falls.
  2. Electricity can cause shocks, burns or fire if not handled properly.
  3. Poor material handling may cause back problems or other injuries.
  4. Tools and equipment can cause injuries if guards or protective devices are disengaged.

image of afety is everyones business

Always use the protections that are provided on the job:

  1. Guards on machines and tools keep body parts from contacting moving equipment.
  2. Insulation on electrical equipment prevents burns, shock and fire.
  3. Lockout/ tag-out assure equipment is de-energized before it is repaired.
  4. Personal Protective Equipment shields your body from hazards you may face on the job.

In case of emergency:

  1. Understand alarms and evacuation routes.
  2. Know how to notify emergency response personnel.
  3. Implement a procedure for leaving the scene safely so emergency personnel can do their job (An effective evacuation plan).
  4. Wipe up spills promptly and correctly.

By incorporating safety rules, employees avoid injury as well as illness from exposure to hazardous substances. With less injuries, a business can be more productive and profitable. The welfare of the community is also enhanced by providing cleaner air and water and less chance of dangerous accidents that can put lives and property at risk.

Safety benefits everyone.

Be alert & don’t get hurt!