We just couldn’t pass on this excellent article by ScottHowell listing the positive impact of a workplace drug testing program at yourworkplace. Below is just a summary of the article’s points. We hope you takethe time to read it more carefully.
The good news is that employment drug testing can serve as a powerful risk mitigation tool that provides far-reaching organizational and societal benefits. In addition to promoting a safer, more productive workplace, it can help to decrease employee turnover and absenteeism, reduce employer risk, and lower workers’ compensation incidence rates.
Seventy percent of the 14.8 million Americans who abuse drugs are employed.
Drug abuse can cost U.S. business owners more than $140 billion dollars every year, which includes turnover rates for employees who abuse drugs.
It’s important to consider the hidden, dramatically higher costs of not having a drug testing program at all.
Work-Related Accidents and Fatalities
Employees who abuse prescription drugs are two to five times more likely to take unexcused absences, be late for work, be injured or violent at work, file workers’ compensation claims, and quit or be fired within one year of employment, according to the National Safety Council.
The upside of this equation is that employees are more likely to undergo treatment when it is fostered by an employer, and individuals in recovery go on to become better workers—using less health care, taking less unscheduled leave, and involving slightly less turnover than their non-abusing colleagues. In fact, each employee who recovers from a substance abuse disorder saves a company more than $3,200 a year.
It is especially important in a company where employees drive, work directly with consumers, operate machinery, or perform manual labor. The construction and manufacturing industries in particular have an especially high rate of on-the-job drug use.
When an employee is struggling with drug misuse, the employer can help by putting him or her in a recovery program that’s paid for by the business or health plan. After completing the recovery program, the employee then returns to work, saving the employer the expense of hiring and training a new employee.
Drug abuse leads to lost productivity due to:
After-effects of substance use (withdrawal)
Preoccupation with obtaining and using substances while at work, interfering with attention and concentration
Illegal activities at work, including selling illegal drugs to other employees
Psychological or stress-related effects due to drug use by a family member, friend, or co-worker that affects another person’s job performance
Fortunately, the workplace can be an impactful arena to address drug abuse issues. By establishing a drug-free workplace, employers can help employees and their families by referring them to community resources and services.
Employees who are injured on the job or fired because of drug-related incidents are not entitled to compensation and are less likely to file suit against their employer.
Workplace drug testing ups the stakes of misusing drugs, encouraging employees to be less inclined to use them if they know it threatens their jobs.
A random testing program is critical for making drug testing truly effective. According to OHS Health and Safety Services Inc., ongoing employee drug testing lowers the number of employees who test positive.
Drug Testing Best Practices
Employers must ensure that they are complying with all state and federal laws that impact workplace drug testing.