Workplace drug testing is slowly becoming an important part of an employer’s workplace drug policy, and for good reason: it carries with it a host of benefits for the workplace. Whether the people being tested are current employees or prospective ones, there is no question that the benefits far outweigh any of the negative issues those against workplace drug testing throw against it. Mandatory drug tests improve the workplace, and here’s how they do exactly that.
Mandatory drug tests promote a safer workplace
Mandatory drug tests helps protect the safety of everyone in the workplace. Without a drug testing program, a workplace, especially one which involves the operation of machinery, will be prone to accidents that could cause injuries and even deaths. All it would take for that to happen is for one employee to work, undetected, while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The thing is, all this could be prevented if only a mandatory drug testing program is in place.
Mandatory drug tests help reduce employee job performance issues
Drug abuse can certainly cause problems at work. Those problems include absenteeism, tardiness, low productivity, and bad work decisions among others. Since drugs like cocaine and ice also alter behaviour; workers who take these drugs might also display aggressive behaviour, which could be a source of conflict and discomfort for everyone else in the workplace. Mandatory drug tests can put a stop to all this.
Mandatory drug tests help lower business costs
There are employers who hesitate implementing drug testing programs because of its cost. However, not doing workplace drug testing is going to cost them even more. Billions of dollars are lost worldwide because of drug-related workforce problems. For instance, members of the workforce who are regular drug users are more likely to use a lot of sick leave days. They can also get injured or cause injury to someone else in the company, which means increase workers’ compensation costs. A worker under the influence may also cause damage to equipment, the repair or replacement of which could cost an employer a lot. When an accident occurs because of an employee is working while impaired by drugs, the employer will also be exposed to very costly and exhausting lawsuits. All these can be minimised or totally avoided if employers manage to develop drug and alcohol testing policies, and that workplace drug testing is done regularly.
Mandatory drug tests can help the concerned employee
Although some employers immediately dismiss employees who test positive for drugs, many employers actually implement programs that are designed to help employees who are found to have drug problems. These Employees Assistance Programs or EAPs are meant to help employees deal with personal problems—drug abuse included– that might adversely impact their job performance, health, and well-being.
Still, it bears repeating that workplace drug testing has its share of detractors, and that there are potential issues like invasion of privacy or discrimination that could lead to litigation. That is why employers are advised to consult their legal counsel before implementing programs for drug testing at work to avoid legal complications and the costs and inconvenience that go with them.