If you want to attract the best hires for your company, it's important to demonstrate your commitment to employee wellness. This includes providing a work environment that mitigates risks to employee safety wherever possible. Drug testing, already a standard procedure in many workplaces across the U.S., is one of the most straightforward and effective ways you can prioritize the safety and wellness of your staff. According to statistics from the federal government, when compared to non-using workers, substance-using employees are more likely to:
- Be late or absent from work
- Cause higher employee turnover
- Be less productive employees
- Be involved in a workplace accident
- File a workers’ compensation claim
Given the potential impact of substance use on your workforce, it's no wonder many companies opt for preemployment drug screenings that can help ensure a job candidate is the right fit for a position within the company. Beyond the new hire phase, however, a drug-free workplace testing program offers you many benefits. Here are four reasons why you should opt for occupational testing services.
1. Drug testing helps promote a happier, safer workplace
Behavioral issues caused by drug abuse may adversely affect the workplace, causing low employee morale, hostility or harm to fellow employees. According to a federal government study of full-time employees who admitted that they used illicit drugs, 40% said they were less likely to work for a company that conducted random drug testing. Thus, when you opt for random drug testing, you are more likely to attract employees that demonstrate mutual respect and professionalism.
2. Drug testing may reduce healthcare costs
A 2016 substance use report from the Surgeon General found that treating substance use disorders in the U.S. costs an average $35 billion per year. An additional $85 billion is spent annually to treat injuries, infections and illnesses associated with substance use. Screening for drugs, therefore, not only reduces risk for workplace accidents, but may also reduce healthcare costs associated with illicit substance use. Some liability insurers offer discounts for a drug-free workplace program, so you may enjoy an additional benefit of reduced insurance costs.
3. Drug testing helps the economy
The economic cost of drug abuse in the U.S. was estimated at $193 billion in 2007, the last available estimate. This value includes $120 billion in total lost productivity, mainly due to labor participation costs, participation in drug abuse treatment, incarceration and premature death. In healthcare, drug abuse costs the U.S. economy an estimated $11 billion for drug treatment and related medical consequences. Another $61 billion goes to criminal justice costs, primarily due to criminal investigation, prosecution and incarceration and victim costs.
Research shows that the rate of substance use varies by occupation and industry. However, employers who implement drug-free work policies are better able to strengthen the U.S. economy by managing internal resources effectively and avoiding lost productivity due to substance use.
4. Drug testing meets company, state or federal regulation requirements
Finally, depending on state-specific rules or federal rules, you may be required to perform drug tests to be in compliance. In fact, some companies may have different drug-testing rules for different positions depending upon the risk associated with specific job duties. Disclaimer: Employers should consult legal counsel to ensure that their drug-free workplace testing policy is in compliance with all applicable state, local and federal laws.