Employees’ drug testing is a very common but still very controversial issue in many companies. Business owners often don’t put drug testing on their priority list especially in the industries where there is a shortage of workers. The policy “don’t ask, don’t tell” is widely spread in the transportation and retail sector where there are huge turnovers and the employers willingly turn a blind eye every time.
Drug use in the US among employees is on the rise for the past two decades, with more than 4% tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Small business owners are more likely to ignore the problems of the employees claiming that they can barely find some to fill in the positions like gas station clerks and such. They are usually overworked and underpaid, so the owners don’t ask much when hiring, and the employees slide through the cracks of the system.
By ignoring the drug testing business owner put in danger all employees. A person who is under the influence can be unstable, paranoid, and easily irritable making it hard for them to function within the work community.
Lately, there have been some signs that employers have taken their responsibilities more seriously and started demanding pre-employment drug tests as well as random ones. This made the situation a bit better, but it’s still far from good. Taking a relaxed attitude in regards to controlling drug use among workers has its consequences. Here’s why every business owner should request all employees to undergo drug tests.
Ongoing random drug testing at the workplace will weed out immediately the problematic employees who will probably leave on their own immediately or give up on applying for the job in the first place. Refusing to sign for the random drug tests is a huge red flag for the employer who should stop the interview at once. A drugged-up worker is 5 times more likely to cause injury at work to himself and/or others. This can massively hike up the cost for the workers’ compensation insurance policy and the owners are going to foot the bill.
Industries that involve using heavy machinery and transportation are hit more than any other sector. Accidents caused by workers who are working under the influence of different opioids are often and usually severe. Drug users tend to abuse their workers’ privileges and sometimes cause injuries on purpose without any regard for others in order to get hefty compensation from the insurance.
To avoid problems and massive costs, business owners should have drug policies in place demanding every employee to submit to random drug testing when asked. The process of setting up drug tests is easy and quick with the respected labs like Health Street that screen for every known street drug, so that the employers and employees can have peace of mind.
Drug users have the habit of hopping from one job to another all the time. The average stay at one position in no more than 3 months after which they simply move on. This can be a problem for employers who are faced with huge turnovers that bring an unstable working environment and huge expenses. The amount of time and effort that business owner has to put into the training of every new employee cannot be compensated in a couple of months so when the worker leaves, they are left with a lot of wasted labor hours and the problem of doing it all over again with new employee. This vicious cycle is bound to repeat itself as long as the employers keep ignoring the problem of drug use.
The production rates have been proven to be much higher in drug-free workplaces. Employees who are users of heavy drugs often leave the sober ones to do their jobs too, which can disrupt the flow of the production and cause discontent among workers. Lost productivity rises up the costs of operations that can impact not only the owners but employees as well. When drug testing is implemented and required as part of the company policy, employees feel safe and are willing to give their best for the business to thrive. Workers are able to establish better business relationships among themselves as well as with the management in order to increase effectiveness and respect.
Reducing abuse of drugs
Just the simple fact of knowing that you can be tested for drugs at any moment is going to give you the motive to stop using. Not always, but it happens. Without random drug checks, employees feel free to come to work drunk or drugged as they please without the fear of any consequences. At some worksites, employees even use drugs during their working hours when they know that the management is going to ignore the problem as long as they show up every morning. Coming to work high becomes a routine for many since there are no rules to prevent them, or at least test them.
Not everyone is going to quit drugs just by knowing that they can be subjected to random checks, but some will. And for those who have the will strong enough to get their priorities straight, enforcing drug tests can be of big help in staying out of trouble. Having a decent job where your colleagues respect and accept you can be a huge encouragement for drug users. With the help of the community, support groups, family members, and the employers, addicts might choose to turn their life around.
Law enforcement and judicial systems are fighting drugs for a long time. However, without the help of the communities, namely employers and workers, that war is already lost. If everyone does their part, we might stand a chance. With a seemingly insignificant policy, like drug checks, drug use can be decreased at least in the workplace. Innocent people are affected every day by drug addicts and they do deserve to feel safe at their work. Without it, the whole business can fall apart with the rising costs, massive turnovers, unsafe working environments, and diminished productivity.