When work turns deadly
Sometimes when workplace prevention breaks down, the events affect more than your employees as was the case in last week's tragic N.Y. ferry crash that resulted in 10 deaths and 42 injuries. The accident investigation is underway, with all eyes on the Captain. Substance abuse testing of the crew showed no problem areas, but there have been some as-yet unconfirmed reports that the Captain was incapacitated after failing to take blood pressure medication. There will no doubt be prevention lessons that all employers can learn as the blame game in this event plays out.
Also worth noting: as public transport employees with "safety sensitive" jobs, the ferry crew were subject to random drug and alcohol testing as required by the D.O.T. But even those employers whose industries do not fall under the "safety sensitive" mandate should consider building an alcohol and drug free workplace - DOL has some great resources:
Drug Free Workplace: A Guide for Supervisors and Managers
Drug Free Workplace Program Builder
Working Partners for an Alcohol and Drug Free Workplace