Private employers are legally allowed to instate drug testing policies in the workplace, yet many aren’t sure if that’s the right move or not. According to the United States Department of Justice, drug abuse can cost U.S. business owners more than $140 billion dollars every year, which includes turnover rates for employees who abuse drugs. The drugs that cause a lot of concern for business owners and employees include cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine and prescription drugs. It’s important for business owners to understand the benefits of administering random drug testing at work.
Random Drug Testing as Risk Mitigation
Random drug testing prevents a host of work-related accidents and deaths. When employers screen employees for drug use, there are several risks that they stand to reduce, including:
• The troubled employee applying for another job
• Poor productivity
Employee drug abuse cause half of all on-the-job accidents, as well as 40% of employee theft. Employees who abuse drugs are absent ten times as much as non-users and the turnover rate for employees who abuse drugs is 30% than non-users. The only way to mitigate risks through random drug testing is to not give employers a lot of advanced notice. There should be as little time as possible between informing the employee of the drug test and administering it.
Random Drug Testing Leads to a Safer Workplace
Safety is one of the main reasons why employers opt to perform random drug tests on employees. It’s especially important in a company where employees drive, work directly with consumers, operate machinery or perform manual labor. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, between 10 and 20 percent of U.S. workers who were involved in fatal accidents on the job had alcohol or illicit drugs in their system. The construction industry has an especially high rate of on-the-job drug use; manufacturing also has a high rate of employees using illicit drugs while on the job. Random drug tests protect employees, co-workers and the public.
When an employee is caught using drugs, the employer can help by putting them in a recovery program that’s paid for by the business. When the employee has completed the recovery program, they can return to work. This benefits the employer because they won’t have to hire and train a brand new employee.
Selecting Employees at Random
Employers who opt to perform random drug testing need to ensure that employees are truly being chosen at random. If they’re not, the employee could claim that the company was discriminatory and singled them out for the drug test. Everyone at the place of business should be informed of random drug testing in writing.
State Regulations for Employers
Several states have regulations concerning drug testing and worker’s compensation. Employers who adhere to the state regulations may be eligible to get discounts and added worker’s comp benefits. Sometimes, an employer’s health care insurance provider will offer group benefit discounts if the employer has implemented random drug testing. By implementing a random drug testing policy, employers can save quite a bit of money on their benefit programs. It’s important to note that many of these programs will disqualify an employee from getting unemployment compensation if they violate their workplace’s drug testing policy.
Need assistance with your random drug testing program? Contact X-celerated Screenings for a customized solution. 407-212-3003.