If your employees are under the influence of alcohol or drugs they may be a danger to your customers, your business, and themselves. Depending on the nature of your business this could also expose you to significant legal liability. As a result, random drug testing is becoming common practice in industries like construction, transport, and energy, and it is increasing in sectors that provide services to vulnerable adults and children.
But setting up a drug testing regime is not straightforward and needs to be balanced with employees’ rights. Make sure that your employee policies are fully in order before you start. Get proper legal advice do not rely on the internet. Drug testing in Colorado is subject to quite a different legal framework that testing in Clapham or Cardiff.
Drug use can lead to productivity issues, accidents on the job, absenteeism, depression, and addiction-related problems. Some companies drug test employees before hiring them (the pre-employment drug test), while others may do so during or after employment (post-employment drug test).
Many different types of drug tests can be administered, but the most common one is urinalysis. This type of test can detect the presence of drugs in the urine. The drugs that can be detected include amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine.
An effective employee drug testing programme could help your business in the following ways:
Poor timekeeping and attendance is one of the main signs that someone may be struggling with drug or alchohol issues. Frequent days lost to absenteeism will mean that jobs become harder for existing staff or they may even end up being neglected. Also, in the end, productivity will suffer as short staffing becomes an issue.
Create a safe and healthy work environment for all staff
Anyone working under the influence of drugs or alcohol will struggle with concentration and be much more likely to make mistakes. In the construction or transport industries, those mistakes could cause serious bodily injury or death. Addictive substances can also significantly lower inhibitions and make some people more aggressive or violent. Those mental and emotional impacts can expose colleagues and customers to situations where they are at risk of both physical and verbal assault. Those are all situations that no employer can afford to risk.
With drug testing, an employer is not just protecting the other staff but the member of staff themselves. It is a matter of health and safety, which an employer is responsible for.
Reduce the number of workers’ compensation claims
Drug testing employees can help to reduce the number of compensation claims that are made against companies. This is because drug testing can help to ensure that employees are not under the influence of drugs while they are working to cause entirely avoidable accidents.
Where accidents can be prevented, they must be. Many businesses will have workers using industrial equipment which can be dangerous in the hands of someone who does not have complete focus. In medicine, life and death decisions are made, which must be the right ones. The taking of non-prescription or non-controlled drugs will be likely to impair the way someone thinks.
Employers implement drug testing programs to improve employee productivity as much as reduce the number of accidents in the workplace.
An employee away with the fairies, so to speak, will not be an employee that is of much use to an employer and is likely to prove to be a slower one when it comes to their output. Their quality of work may also suffer because of habitual recreational drug use.
Drug testing is also a deterrent for employees who may be considering using drugs. By detecting drug use early, employers can provide employees with the necessary resources and treatment to help them overcome their addiction. Where it is appropriate, drug testing is a win-win for both employers and employees.