Random drug testing allows employers to catch employees using drugs on the job. While reasonable suspicion can be effective, some workers suffering from substance abuse have found ways to hide their habits.

Ensure you notify new hires about your policy during orientation and periodically remind current employees. Also, limit the time frame between selecting an employee and when they must take their test.

Deterring Drug Use

A key reason for implementing a drug testing program is to deter the use of illegal drugs and abused prescription medications like opioids. These medications can impair employees’ ability to do their job and create unsafe working conditions for others. A good drug testing policy can also prevent employees with substance abuse problems from getting jobs in the first place. Substance abusers often have poor work performance and lower morale than their healthy counterparts. Additionally, they may take more sick days and are less likely to meet productivity goals.

Random drug testing can help employers identify these employees and offer rehabilitation programs before their addiction worsens. This can save the company money in reduced insurance rates, worker compensation claims, and lost productivity. Companies must review state and federal laws before implementing a drug testing policy. For example, if you are a company regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), you must follow strict DOT guidelines regarding how and when to test your employees.

Preventing Substance Abuse in the Workplace

Substance abuse is a health issue and an economic concern for many businesses. It is estimated that employee drug abuse costs companies $74 billion each year, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

One of the biggest ways substance abuse affects a business is through decreased productivity. Those abusing drugs and alcohol tend to work slower and produce lower-quality work. A drug testing program can help eliminate employees who cannot perform their duties effectively. This can lead to improved productivity and a more cohesive team.

Another way that substance abuse can cost a company is through increased absenteeism and sick days. A person with a drug or alcohol problem is 2.5 times more likely to miss eight or more days of work in a year than someone without a problem. This can result in lost revenue and lower morale. A drug test can act as a deterrent to absenteeism and sick leave.

Random drug testing is a great deterrent to drug abuse because it can catch those working under the influence even if they do not show obvious signs of being under it. Post-accident tests can effectively catch those on the job while under the influence, but they cannot always catch every incident. Furthermore, reasonable suspicion may not be as effective as a random test because those using drugs or alcohol often know how to hide their usage.

Decrease Workplace Accidents

Drug abuse is a major cause of workplace accidents. Employers can save on insurance costs and improve safety by implementing testing policies. Random tests help weed out drug users who pose a threat to other employees, saving the company money on lost productivity. The test can also help employers identify problem workers and offer rehabilitation via an employee assistance program (EAP). The first step in implementing a random drug testing policy is to review state and federal laws. In addition to determining the percentage of your workforce, you must decide what substances you will test for and how often you will test. You must also decide the consequences of refusing a drug test or returning a positive result. When selecting a testing method, avoiding creating a system that deters employees from reporting work-related injuries or illnesses is important.  It’s also important to note that pre-employment and post-accident drug tests do not measure on-the-job impairment. These tests only detect the presence of drugs that the employee ingested before the test.

Preventing Discrimination

Employers have a variety of reasons to screen workers for drug use, including the safety risks of an impaired workforce, higher costs due to absenteeism and increased turnover, decreased productivity, and a failure to comply with industry regulations. Employees under the influence of drugs or alcohol are more likely to injure themselves or others, increasing your company’s accident/injury and fatality rates. A well-managed drug testing program deters drug use and promotes a safe workplace without singling out specific employees.

Using an unbiased method for selecting which employees will be tested, random drug tests are effective because they surprise employees. However, employers must be careful not to single out employees for testing because many physical symptoms associated with intoxication — slurred speech, disorientation, poor coordination — can also be caused by serious medical conditions such as diabetes or depression. Singling out these individuals for testing or disciplinary action could result in legal problems. Employers should also consider state laws when implementing their random drug testing programs. For example, Massachusetts law limits random testing to workers in safety-sensitive positions or when the employer can prove a legitimate business necessity. In addition, some states prohibit drug testing unless the company can demonstrate that it is essential to the job’s duties. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.