Businesses who don’t have a substance misuse policy could fall foul of insurance policies.

That’s the message that came from an event organised by County Durham Engineering and Manufacturing Network (CDEMN) in partnership with Hall and Angus.

The event was attended by HR professionals from engineering, manufacturing companies and education and governmental organisations.

Ben Gilhespy, operations director at CDEMN, said: “This is such a topical issue for businesses as many don’t realise the implications it could have.

“If you don’t have a suitable substance misuse policy in place your insurance policies may be affected if a related incident occurs.

“Businesses need to realise what to be aware, for instance even taking legally prescribed drugs could make you unfit for work. And if you pass medication to someone else at work, for example a headache tablet, that could be classed as dealing.”

Businesses are urged to review their policies to ensure they are properly adhering to the laws.