How to Create a Drug Free Workplace
There is no doubt drugs have an effect on workplaces across the United States. A drug free workplace helps to ensure a safer and healthier work environment, as well as boost efficiency. Data shows that substance abuse has a significant impact in the workplace, with costs estimated at over $100 billion annually.
Statistics on Drugs in the Workplace
- Seventy-one percent of illegal drug users are employed.
- Alcoholism causes 500 million lost workdays each year.
- Drug and alcohol-related problems are one of the four top reasons for the rise in workplace violence.
- Of those who called the cocaine helpline, 75 percent reported using drugs on the job, 64 percent admitted drugs adversely affected their job performance, 44 percent sold drugs to other employees, and 18 percent had stolen from co-workers to support their drug habit
Ways to Become Drug Free in The Workplace
Having a plan is the first step to a drug free workplace. The plan should include the employer’s policy, the laws regarding employment drug testing, drug testing procedures, confidentiality, over the counter medications that may alter drug testing, consequences for refusing drug testing, assistance programs, ability to contest results, and the type of drugs being tested for.
After you have a plan in place it is time to distribute the policy to employees. Once employees are aware of the policy, it is time to educate them as well as post notification of your drug free workplace program.
Drug testing and drug screening from a licensed laboratory plays a big step in becoming a drug free workplace. Initial testing when hiring employees is one of the easiest ways to prevent drugs in the workplace. Random drug testing helps to deter drug use from current employees.
- The employer is responsible and must pay for all drug test that the employer requires.
- The employer must provide a copy of the test results to the employee if requested.
- If the employee refuses to submit a drug test they may be discharged, disciplined, or rejected from hiring.
- A drug test can be conducted only to determine “illegal” drug use.
Benefits of a Drug Free Workplace
By creating a drug free workplace your company will save money. All employees will benefit from a safer work environment with less accidents. In addition you will have a more productive and efficient team, with high quality employees. You may also qualify for workers’ Compensation Insurance Incentives.
Common reasons employers implement drug testing are to:
- Deter employees from abusing alcohol and drugs
- Prevent hiring individuals who use illegal drugs
- Be able to identify early and appropriately refer employees who have drug and/or alcohol problems
- Provide a safe workplace for employees
- Protect the general public and instill consumer confidence that employees are working safely
- Comply with State laws or Federal regulations
- Benefit from Workers’ Compensation Premium Discount programs
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