Drug Testing in the Workplace is Critical: Because 79% of Drug Users are Working.
Is drug testing in the workplace a necessity? Take a look at the numbers. Statistics show that 47% of workplace accidents that result in serious injury and 40% of workplace accidents that result in death involve drug and/or alcohol use. Therefore, it is universally accepted that a drug-free workplace (DFWP) is essential for safety-minded employers.
Drug testing in the workplace is necessary for a myriad of reasons, the strongest of which being the importance of safety in the workplace. A safer workplace is always a more productive workplace. Drug testing in the workplace empowers all employees with the peace of mind knowing that individuals who might pose a threat to the overall safety of the workplace are being monitored and held accountable for their actions. Individuals are then able to focus on their own responsibilities and not have to worry about monitoring or picking up the responsibilities of their fellow employees. This allows people to work to their full potential.
There are other benefits to drug testing in the workplace in addition to safety. Drug testing in the workplace will help identify and remove employees who are not contributing their full potential. Again, take a look at the numbers. In addition to posing a liability to safety, people who use drugs or alcohol in the workplace are more frequently tardy or late to work and also miss more days of work than employees who do not abuse drugs or alcohol.
Of course, drug testing in the workplace is not something that can be implemented overnight. A drug test administered in the workplace will only make an impact if the workplace also has a well-defined, written substance abuse policy. Such a policy will explain the responsibilities of the employees and employer, identify available avenues and resources for help, outline prohibited conduct and define what constitutes a violation and, consequences. The actual drug testing itself can take many different forms (including random, pre-employment, etc.)
So how can you implement a drug free workplace (DFWP) in your business or organization? A DFWP program is much more than drug-testing in the workplace. An effective DFWP program consists of five components that, together, provide a full, comprehensive management and training program designed specifically to meet the needs of your company.
Elements of a Drug-Free Program
An effective drug-free program consists of five components that, together, provide a full, comprehensive management and training program designed specifically to meet the needs of your company. Companies can and do start at different places with their drug-free programs, depending on their special needs. USA Mobile Drug Testing can help your company get started with a drug-free program that’s right for you, or help you put in place the right processes for maintaining your program, depending upon your specific situation.
- A Written Substance Abuse Policy
This serves as an executive summary of the substance abuse program. It sets the tone of the program, outlines the responsibilities of employer and employee, references available help, and explains the program including prohibited conduct, types and circumstances of testing, and the consequences for violations. For a drug-free safety program to be effective, all the parameters and procedures will have been thoughtfully developed and then articulated in a user-friendly policy statement for employees, along with detailed operational guidelines and accompanying appendices (forms) for use by management.
- Employee Awareness & Education
Employees are made aware of and receive education about the policy, responsibilities, consequences, alcohol and drug information, their rights and the resources available to them through the company and community if they (or one of their family members) need help.
- Supervisor Training
Supervisors need to be trained in their role within the company’s substance abuse program. They should receive training about the impact of alcohol and drugs on the workplace; how to recognize, document and confront a possible substance abuse problem; the company policy and procedures; how to refer a troubled employee to available resources and/or testing; and how to support an employee returning from treatment.
- An Employee Assistance Plan of Action
An employer needs to identify a plan of action and the applicable resources for employees who seek help on their own, are referred by management for a possible problem with alcohol/drugs, or have a positive alcohol/drug test. The possibilities range from a comprehensive contract with an external Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider to knowledge of the community service network that is subsidized with tax dollars.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
An employer has a myriad of decisions to make about their drug-free testing program. These include questions such as when they will test (there are different options including pre-employment, random,post accident, return to duty, reasonable suspicion ), who will be tested, what drugs will be tested for, what are the appropriate actions for any non negative results. USA Mobile will walk you through the process and cover all the options.