Drug use, especially opioid use is on the rise. Unfortunately, it’s not only the problem of local communities because workplaces are also seeing a spike in both drug use and alcohol abuse. No wonder, companies are now implementing drug-free policies in their workplaces. This means that employee drug testing should be done on current workers and job applicants. For safety-sensitive jobs, such as the transportation sector, it’s crucial to have drug and alcohol testing for employees. Drug testing can benefit your company in various ways. This article discusses why your business should invest in drug testing.
Investing in drug testing
You should note that there are various reasons why you need to drug test in your workplace like improving safety. Some studies have indicated that drug testing in workplaces can increase productivity and improve employee health. While investing in drug testing is a significant expense, you can have a good return for the human resources department. Some of the reasons why it makes sense to invest in drug testing include the following:
Perhaps, the obvious reason for investing in drug testing in your workplace is simply to improve safety. Several studies have linked drug use to increased risk for accidents for workers and the general public. Drug-using employees tend to have higher chances of being involved in work-related accidents than those who don’t use drugs.
Take note that drug testing has been a crucial component that has been used to improve safety in the transportation industry for many years. The United States of Transportation (DOT) included drug testing workers in their drug-free workplace program. The good news is that accidents and incidents associated with drug use among workers have decreased over time.
Private sector employers also started to recognize the effect of drug testing employees. Therefore, both small and large businesses also started implementing drug testing in their workplaces. With the rise of drug testing policies in the private sector, most business owners also began to realize the effect it has.
Mitigate safety risks
No doubt, drug use among employees in the workplace can increase safety risks for both employees and the general public. It has been associated with increased work-related injuries and accidents by many organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The abuse of prescription drugs and use of illicit drugs can affect an employee’s judgment, perception, alertness, and motor coordination. This makes it highly likely that they can make a poor decision or suffer an accident. Quite often, it can be concerning for employees in safety-sensitive positions.
Remember that the poor decision can affect many other people including your employees and the general public who can also be at risk. Safety concerns are the main reason why you need to drug test your employees.
Improve productivity and performance
The purpose of drug testing is to lower substance abuse and the bad effects it may have on job productivity and performance. Drug abuse on the job may lead to lateness, poor decision-making, loss of focus, and sleeping on the job.
Therefore, you can reduce drug use among your employees through a good drug testing program. This is one of the ways you may eliminate effects and make sure that your employees are efficient, alert, and can understand dangerous situations. Having clear heads also means that your employees can have good motor coordination and enhanced emotional states. Besides, drug testing can help you to reduce absenteeism among your employees.
Low productivity, accidents, and human error can be costly problems usually related to drug use. You need to have a drug testing program so that you can mitigate these problems in various ways. Firstly, a drug testing program can sometimes be a deterrent. When employees realize that there is an active drug testing program, they tend to be discouraged to use drugs at work. This is because they know that there is a chance that they can be drug tested at any point.
Secondly, drug testing can allow you to spot issues earlier in the process and offers you the chance to provide support and treatment. These can assist your company to lower the drug use costs in your workplace. The costs for workplaces and society can be significant.
Improve company image
Regular drug use can affect your company culture and may lead to mistrust among employees as well as a feeling of vulnerability. Worse still, it can reduce company morale that leads to a lack of employee loyalty or higher turnover. Aside from your company culture that may be affected by drug use among your employees, there are also some other areas of concern.
Drug use among your employees can lead to safety concerns or increased errors that may change the public perception of your company. With low morale, there is a chance that you can lose talented employees. And, when the public image gets affected, you can lose sales. Both of these can cause bad consequences for your company.
Improve employee health
In most cases, employees consider drug testing to be a punitive action, but it’s usually about protecting your workers. A positive drug test result doesn’t mean that your employee has a drug problem. A good drug testing program gives you the chance to provide rehabilitation as well as other employee assistance benefits, which can be a component of an employee assistance program.
Also, it can give you the opportunity to offer accommodations to your employees until they complete their recovery. This usually helps to keep your employees safe and improves productivity.
Address workplace illegal activities
Sometimes, drug use may lead to other illegal activities like selling illicit drugs. Prescription abuse and drug use are also often associated with increased workplace harassment and violence. You need to mitigate drug use in your workplace by implementing a drug testing program.
When employees see that there is a drug testing program, they understand that you are not ready to see drug abuse in the workplace. It can also demonstrate that you are focused on providing a safe working environment for your employees. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a written drug-free policy for your workplace.