Benefits of Employee Health and Drug Screening
In a recent study conducted by the National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse, the number for Americans seeking treatment for alcohol and drug abuse has gone up. The increase in drug abuse has found its way into the workplace and this is a cause for concern to any employer.
Close to 75% of the illicit drug users currently are 18 years and older and employed in various industries. The statistics further review that at least 42,000 Americans come to work under the influence of drugs.
Employers are fully aware of the impact drug use can have in the workplace. From performance to workplace safety, drug use adversely affects the quality of service delivery.
Drug and Health Screening for Employees
In most organizations, drug testing is done for pre-employment, as part of random testing, post-accident, post-rehabilitation, and return to duty. The most common test for illegal drugs done on workers in the US is for marijuana. A survey from laboratory tests indicates that close to 60% of all positive drug tests are for marijuana while 16% are for cocaine.
There are lots of benefits for both employees and employers can get from health and drug screening exercises. Some of the outstanding benefits include:
1. Roots out High-Risk Employees
This is by far the weightiest reason for conducting drug screening. Preventing high-risk employees from joining your workforce is not the same as turning down applications based on illness. In the screening, people on prescription medicine with drugs such as methadone are protected and respected.
The cost of employing high-risk employees is astronomical bearing in mind what they can do once they are part of your workforce.
2. Shows Commitment to Social Responsibility
Employee health and drug screening tell your community and stakeholders that you are committed to assisting your workforce to live a healthy lifestyle. This is particularly the case when positive health and drug test outcomes are paired with recovery support for the existing employees.
Thousands of communities in the United States struggle against drug addiction. However, with supportive employers who invest in drug test kits to screen and put their staff on recovery programs, the society can be a better place.
3. Promotes a Safer and Productive Workplace
Substance abuse is one of the main contributors to unsafe working environments. One in six fatalities on the job can be attributed to alcohol and drugs. The National Safety Council gave a report showing that 80% of people injured in drug-related accidents at work are innocent coworkers of drug-abusing employees.
A safe workplace is a productive workplace for every employee. Everyone feels comfortable that the actions of others will not adversely affect them.
4. Helps Identify Staff Struggling with Drug Addiction
Drug addiction is a condition that is common among Americans of all lifestyles, ages, and backgrounds. The substance of choice may vary from one person to another, but addiction creates high dependency and stress. It is for this reason that substance abuse is categorized as a mental disorder as a character flaw.
Proper health and drug screening at the workplace is the first step in identifying the affected employees. Thereafter, connection and support can be extended to help them break the addiction cycle.
5. Enhances Compliance with Legal Safety Mandates
Specific industries may be under a legal mandate to drug test their workforce for safety reasons. One of the industries with such an obligation is the transportation sector. Public transportation workers and train drivers in many states across the US are required by law to go through these tests. Military employees are also required to do so.
The reasoning behind the legal mandates is to ensure that employees do not pose danger to the public and their fellow workers when executing their duties.
6. Reduces Disability and Insurance Claims
Intoxicated employees push up the risk of accidents that if not checked can lead to increased premiums. As a company, you will end up losing money unnecessarily on disability premiums and health coverage if you do not take precautions and screen your employees at the earliest possible point. You may also be enjoined in lawsuits and lose even more resources.
Both health checks and drug screening help in verifying that your staff are clean. This due diligence is sufficient to cover you if you are sued as courts interpret it as a reasonable precaution against workplace intoxication.