Pre-employment drug screening is one important element of establishing and maintaining a drug-free workplace. If you are interested in protecting your business from the many risks and costs associated with employee drug use, here are a few things you should know:
Why be drug free?
Employers who have successfully implemented programs directed at creating a drug-free workplace report the following benefits:
- Improved morale
- Higher productivity
- Decreased absenteeism
- Fewer workplace accidents
- Lower turnover rates
- Decreased shrinkage and theft rates
- Better health among employees
- Reduced healthcare costs
- Lower insurance rates
- Lower short- and long-term disability costs
In addition to these many tangible, measurable benefits, another reason to be drug free is that it’s mandated by law. The federal government requires workplace drug policies for certain professions and environments. Meeting these legal requirements will protect you from costly legal penalties.
What are the elements of a drug-free workplace?
Successful workplace drug programs contain the following five elements:
- Written Policy. A good policy states your rationale and goals for having the policy, expectations for compliance, support options, and consequences for violations.
- Education. Every employee throughout the organization should be educated about the workplace drug policy. They should be taught the problems associated with drug use and how it can affect the organization, their personal health, and their relationships.
- Training. Maximizing the effect of your dug program requires that supervisors be diligently and carefully trained. They should clearly understand the policy and be instructed on how to recognize problems, document them appropriately, and honor employee confidentiality. They should also be trained on how to assist employees with accessing resources and integrating back into the workplace after treatment.
- Resources. Successful programs provide employees who struggle with drug or alcohol use and abuse resources to get help. There are a variety of options available for providing employee assistance including professional organizations, unions, peer groups, and even in-house programs.
- Drug testing. Conducting pre-employment drug testing as well as random drug testing will help your organization comply with applicable federal mandates while also contributing to greater workplace safety and morale. A strong drug testing policy serves as a deterrent against employees arriving at work unfit to perform their responsibilities.
Serious Solutions for a Serious Issue:
Workplace drug use is a serious issue with implications throughout your organization. Establishing a clear program protects you, your business, and your reputation from the damages caused by drug use at work.