Videotel launched the new addition to its suite of programs on the subjects of alcohol and drug abuse, Drugs and Alcohol – A Manager’s Guide, which is aimed directly at supporting management ashore and on board. This new program makes managers aware of their responsibilities and of the need to ensure that an effective drugs and alcohol policy is in place.
Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel said, “The use of illegal drugs and the abuse of alcohol are serious concerns within the maritime industry. Managers have a legal duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of everyone on board as well as to ensure the safety of the ship and the environment.
“MLC 2006 as amended includes guidelines on the safety and health education of seafarers, including guidance and training on the effects of drugs and alcohol abuse. Videotel offers this guidance in the form of three updated complementary packages – Drugs and Alcohol – A Manager’s Guide, and the Seafarer’s Guides – Alcohol Beware! and Drugs – Way Off Course.
“All seafarers, whatever their rank, or the type of ship on which they serve, have a vital part to play in the ship's organization and in an emergency response. This ability can be seriously impaired by the use of drugs and alcohol with potentially serious and often unforeseen consequences to both the individual and the crew as a whole,” he concluded.
The program examines the key components of an effective drug and alcohol policy, starting with prevention. Companies are encouraged to spread awareness of the risks to health and safety from both drugs and alcohol abuse and to offer help and counseling to those who may be concerned about their drinking or their use of drugs. Setting the rules covers the control of alcohol consumption on board and how best to make clear that the use of illegal drugs will not be tolerated. Monitoring and testing is an essential part of the policy, since breath and urine testing will ensure that rules are being followed. Counseling and rehabilitation recognizes that good seafarers are hard to find and early intervention alongside external specialist help may well help bring careers back on track. The final component is discipline. Every seafarer must understand that persistent alcohol abuse will result in disciplinary procedures which may lead to dismissal. If illegal drugs are discovered on board, dismissal is invariably instant.
Each course in the drugs and alcohol portfolio is delivered through VOD (Videotel On Demand), VOD online, DVD and accompanied by a workbook.