Section 6. Workplace Safety

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Harris County is committed to providing a safe, productive, and secure workplace and has adopted policies for a Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Workplace and a Violence-Free Workplace to meet that goal. You must report to work in an appropriate mental and physical condition to perform your job safely and effectively.

6.01 DRUG-FREE AND ALCOHOL-FREE WORKPLACE

6.011 Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of employees and to the security of County equipment and facilities. For these reasons, the County is committed to a workplace free of drugs and alcohol. Information is available to tell employees about:

  • the County’s policy of maintaining a drug-free and alcohol-free workplace;
  • the dangers of illegal drug abuse and alcohol abuse;
  • the coverage for substance abuse treatment programs that is available for eligible employees through the group health plan and the Employee Assistance Program; and
  • the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for violating this policy.

6.012 The County also conducts pre-employment, safety-sensitive, reasonable suspicion, and certain post-accident drug and/or alcohol screening pursuant to the Harris County Drug and Alcohol Screening Policy for Commercial Drivers, Non-Commercial Drivers, or your departmental policy.

6.013 Employees who have a commercial drivers’ license (CDL) as a requirement of their job are subject to alcohol and controlled substance testing pursuant to U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. Keep your CDL current and immediately notify your Department Head of any change in the status of your license.

6.014 Do not manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, purchase, or use illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, inhalants, or controlled substances in the workplace or in any other facility, location, or vehicle you are required to be in to do your job. Do not misuse legally prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

6.015 You are responsible for learning the possible effects of the prescription and OTC drugs you use while working. Tell your supervisor or designated Department representative of any side effects that might impair your ability to do your job. The County may, at its discretion, require employees in safety sensitive positions to refrain from working while taking any drug or medication, or require such employees to get written authorization from their physicians about their ability to perform their job duties safely while taking the medication.

6.016 Employees arrested or convicted of a violation of state or federal law against manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, purchasing, or using an illegal drug or controlled substance must report such arrest or conviction in writing to their supervisor or designated department representative within 5 working days of the arrest or conviction. The supervisor or designated department representative must then report any convictions to the Director of Human Resources & Risk Management.

6.017 Employees who regularly drive as part of their County job are subject to periodic checks of their driver’s license and must immediately notify their Department Head of any change in the status of their license.

6.02 VIOLENCE-FREE WORKPLACE

6.021 We strive to provide a safe work environment free of violence or threats of violence, including intimidation and bullying, against employees and the visiting public, as well as County and personal property. All individuals on County premises must conduct themselves in a professional manner.

6.022 Examples of bullying include pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault, damage to a person’s work area or property, slandering, ridiculing, or maligning a person, name calling that is hurtful, insulting, or humiliating, using a person as the target of jokes, or making abusive and offensive remarks.

6.023 Be alert and tell appropriate management personnel of any behavior you think violates or could constitute a violation of this policy. Retaliation against an employee who reports threats of workplace violence is strictly prohibited.

6.024 Anyone found to be responsible for threats of or actual violence or other prohibited conduct will be subject to prompt disciplinary action up to and including termination.

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