The statistics speak loud and clear. Massachusetts employers need to protect themselves and their employees. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provides national and state-level data on the use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs (including non-medical use of prescription drugs), and mental health in the United States. In the most recent survey, just under 9 percent of Massachusetts residents reported using illicit drugs in the past month. The national average was 8 percen. 1
Corporations who decide to use mobile drug testing to regularly screen their employees should know that this type of decision has many major benefits. Opting for regularly scheduled or random drug testing will effect your entire workplace positively in a variety of ways, from reducing overall costs for the company to effecting the morale of the workplace itself. This article will discuss the many benefits of opting to drug test your employees.
Reduce Costs Associated with Substance Abuse
Mobile drug testing can dramatically reduce the costs that are typically associated with substance abuse. For example, lost time due to call offs, workman’s compensation claims after accidents, lost productivity on the job due to substance abuse users making mistakes, showing up late, or otherwise causing delay all cost employers money. Random drug screening can dramatically cut down on this type of cost by eliminating substance abusers from the workplace. Mobile drug testing allows employers to find substance abusers among their employees, as well as to screen them from potential new hires and prevent them from entering the workforce in the first place.
Provide a Risk Free Workplace
Mobile drug testing also allows employers to minimize the risk to their employees by reducing the liability caused by substance abusers in the workforce. Drug abusers on the job can cause accidents, increase the risk of theft, and are generally an unknown variable. Eliminating this dynamic from the workplace allows other employees to relax and be more productive, knowing that they are not at risk. A relaxed employee is a happier employee, and therefore a more productive employee.
Positively Affect Morale
Drug use in the workplace tends to create a drug culture. This can mean secrecy, theft, and a constant need for lying, manipulation, and other covert behavior. If this has been the norm among your employees, random drug screening or mobile drug testing may positively affect morale in a dramatic manner. You may find that your employees are happier, more relaxed, and building more positive relationships with one another, once they know that they don’t have to hide or keep secrets for the drug users any longer.
Reduce Cost of Workmens’ Compensation
Workmens’ compensation claims are one of the most expensive parts of drug use in the workplace for employers. Adding random drug screening in the workplace can help limit the amount of money your company has to pay out in this type of compensation. In many states, by law, if drug use was involved in an accident or injury, you are no longer required to pay workman’s compensation. Using a mobile drug testing unit after each accident, you may be able to save your company thousands of dollars each year. Drug screenings allow you to demonstrate, clearly, who is at fault for each accident or injury, so that you can protect your company’s assets.
Keep in mind the hundreds of billions of dollars each year that are lost to workers working under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and you’ll have plenty of motivation for implementing regular mobile drug testing of your employees.
1 Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - State Estimates of Substance Use from the 2007–2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k8state/Cover.pdf