Benefits of Employee Drug Testing at Workplace

By: Nate Rodney

Drug or alcohol abuse is one of the major concerns for many of the employers in United States of America. According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health (NSDUH), among 56.6 million adult binge drinkers and 16.5 million heavy drinkers, around 74% were employed either part time or full time. When it comes to illicit drugs, of 20.2 million drug users aged 18 or older, 13.3 million (65.9%) were employed.

These statistics clearly state that it is very important to identify and filter drug or alcohol abusing employees. Here are few more reasons for making drug testing a mandatory policy at workplace.

Ensures safe and healthy environment Employees working under the influence of drugs are prone to accidents as drug abuse is known to cause short-term memory problems, impaired thinking, loss of balance and coordination and decreased alertness. They will not only hurt themselves, but also some of their co-workers or other visitors at workplace. Employees under the influence are often aggressive and violent.

They often commit violent crimes to get money to purchase drugs. Hence, in order to ensure safe and healthy work environment, an employer should conduct drug tests to detect and eliminate drug abusing employees.

Enhances employee productivity Many studies have already proved that substance abusing employees are less productive as they will be mentally and physically impaired due to drug abuse. They are also prone to diseases, injuries and accidents. These factors directly affect the employee’s performance. Drug testing helps the employer to identify and replace drug abusing employees with healthy employees. This ultimately results in increased employee productivity.

Reduces liability claims Apart from being late or absent and less productive at work, drug abusing employees are more likely to file worker’s compensation claims. This causes additional financial burden on the organization. Such situations can be eliminated with the help of drug testing, which helps to find out the abusers and keeps them away from the company.

Avoids reputational risks Drug or alcohol abusing behavior of employees damages the reputation of the company, particularly if it is from hospitality or service industry. Drug abusing behavior of employees shows lack of discipline. It also conveys that the organization is unprofessional. Therefore, an organization should conduct regular drug testing programs to filter out drug abusers and save the reputation of the organization.

Improves organizational efficiency Once the organization conducts drug tests using reliable drug testing kits, it can easily sort out drug abusers from the non-abusers and hence can make an effective team which can focus more on the work. Safe and healthy work environment not only enhances the employee productivity, but also reduces costs for the organization in terms of recruiting and training.

Hence, it is clear from the above reasons that drug testing can help in increasing the operational efficiency of an organization. Random drug testing helps business owners or managers know about their employees’ unhealthy habits, enabling them to take timely decisions in order to create a healthy working environment.
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