Why Should Employers Drug Test Employees?
- Because 74% of all abusers are employed
- Government studies reveal that 1 out of 6 workers has a drug problem
- Cost an employer $7,000 – $10,000 per employee annually
- Cost companies 300% more in medical cost and benefits
- Absent up to 16 times more often
- 1/3 less productive
In surveys of drug abusers themselves:
- 44% admitted selling drugs to co-workers
- 18% admitted stealing from employers
Developing your own in house drug testing program can save approximately 50% off your current lab fees!
Workplace drug testing is an essential component of a prevention program because it:
- Serves as a deterrent to continued use of an illicit substance
- Provides a means to detect and thereby, identify employee or job applicants who are using illicit substances
- Assists employees in recognizing and admitting their abuse problems so that they may obtain necessary treatment
What is a “Drug-Free Workplace?
It is an employment setting where all employees adhere to a program of policies and activities designed to provide a safe workplace, discourage alcohol and drug abuse and encourage treatment, recovery and the return to work of those employees with such abuse problems.
5 Steps to implementing a Drug-Free Workplace Program
- Prepare a written substance abuse policy.
- Train your supervisors
- Educate your employees
- Consider providing an Employee Assistance Program
- Implement a drug-testing program
What are the characteristics of an effective, comprehensive Drug Free Workplace Program?
- Active, visible leadership and support of the program by the employer
- Clear, written Drug-Free workplace policies and procedures that are applied uniformly
- Employee and union involvement in program development of the program Management, supervisors, union representatives and employees who are knowledgeable about their roles, rights, and responsibilities under the Drug-Free workplace policy
- Access to treatment and follow-up for employees who are having abuse problems
- Methods of identifying alcohol and drug abusers, including drug testing, for the purpose of providing the opportunity for treatment, recovery and the return to work
Why should an employer establish a comprehensive Drug-Free workplace program?
- Compliance with law or other regulations
- Qualification for insurance discounts, rebates and other incentives
- Prevention of associated problems, e.g., absenteeism, accidents, injuries, productivity, loss Response to an incident or pattern of substance abuse
- Expression of support for the majority of employees who do not abuse alcohol or drugs
- Investment in worker health, safety, and family stability? Marketing of Drug-Free workers and services
Types of Drug Testing
Pre-Employment Drug Testing:
In this type of testing, a job applicant is normally asked to take a urine drug screen as part of the application procedure. If applicants fail the test, they are not given a job with the company.
Post-Accident Drug Testing:
Any employee that is involved in an on-the-job accident. No matter what the cause- will be required to take a substance abuse test. It’s been conclusively shown that this form of testing dramatically reduces the number of on-the-job accidents.
Random Drug Testing:
Unannounced or random testing is the form of testing most likely to identify substance abusers. Companies regulated by the Department of Transportation and Defense, in particular, require these test.
Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing
Employees can be asked to take a drug or alcohol test if their actions warrant it. Reasonable suspicion testing can be triggered by such factors as bizarre or extremely erratic behavior, the discovery of drug paraphernalia, or strong suspicion that an employee is at the moment under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.