OVMC Is Offering a Reasonable Suspicion Training Course

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

With drug and alcohol usage a prevalent issue, Occupational Health Services at OVMC and East Ohio Regional Hospital is hosting a reasonable suspicion course for workplace supervisors on May 30th.

The one-day course will train supervisors in ways to recognize and deal with employees who have job performance problems that could be related to alcohol and other drugs.

“Training supervisors is an integral part of every drug-free workplace program,” said Amy Goodwin, operations manager at Occupational Health Services (OHS) at East Ohio Regional Hospital. “This course provides supervisors with basic information about a drug-free workplace program and their role in its implementation.”

Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs abuse is costly, exacting over $600 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work, productivity, and healthcare, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Of all drug users in the United States, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) found that nearly three-fourths of users are employed and active in the workplace. This means companies are directly impacted as national studies estimate the cost of substance use to employers ranges from $7,000 to $25,000 annually per substance user.

Substance abuse is often the silent and unseen cause of work-related accidents. This results in higher workers compensation premiums for employers and increased costs for employee turnover and decrease in productivity.  Implementation of a drug-free workplace has proven to be a good business decision for businesses.

Locally, OHS at East Ohio Regional Hospital has established programs to specifically address this drug and alcohol occurrence in the workplace. Designed to meet unique health care needs of employers across the Ohio Valley, OHS helps companies provide a safe and healthy work environment through various services, one of which is drug and alcohol programs. Drug screen collections and breath alcohol testing are conducted for pre-placement, reasonable suspicion or probable cause, post accident or random testing.

“Taking steps to raise awareness among employees about the impact of substance use on workplace performance and offering the appropriate resources and assistance to employees in need, will not only improve worker safety and health, but it also increase workplace productivity and market competitiveness,” said Goodwin. “We are staffed with certified personnel for drug screen collections as well as breath alcohol testing.”

In addition, OHS also goes beyond testing and works with a company's team to provide substance abuse education for drug-free workplaces as well as counseling and outpatient drug and substance abuse programs known as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through OVMC's behavioral health department, Hillcrest Behavioral Health. Through a company's personalized plan, EAP services are a voluntary, work-based program that offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal or work-related problems due to drug and alcohol dependencies.

An EAP addresses a broad and complex body of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders. EAP counselors also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs.

“Our behavioral health programs are designed to be a time of growth, encouragement and rewarding experiences,” said Michael Caruso, president and CEO of Ohio Valley Health Services and Education, parent company of OVMC and EORH. “Each program is founded on the belief that with effective treatment, mental health recovery and rehabilitation is possible. It's important to us as a local, community hospital that our Valley's workforce is healthy and receive the proper services they need to be productive in their lives.” 

Lunch is served at the May 30th class held in the OVMC Nurses' Residence Auditorium, and reservations are requested. Anyone may register at ovmc-eorh.com or call (304)234-8233.