The National Safety Council (NSC) is calling on America’s employers to consider more than substance misuse when addressing “workplace impairment” – in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent NSC survey revealed 90 percent of employers are concerned about mental health and chronic stress impacting fitness for duty – in addition to persistent concerns around legal and illicit substance misuse.

The safety organisation urges that employer policies and procedures outline “workplace impairment” as anything that could impede someone’s ability to function normally or safely as a result of a number of factors – from chemical substances, such as alcohol, opioids, or cannabis, to physical factors like fatigue, as well as experiencing mental distress and social factors like stress.

“We believe the issue of impairment is multifaceted and therefore requires an approach that recognizes all aspects of it,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO.

“We urge employers to join us in looking at impairment through the new lens that our current moment demands.”