Is your small business losing money due to employee drug use? Are you looking for ways to screen out the bad apples before they ruin your reputation?
Every year, employee drug use costs American businesses more than $400 billion. Employees who use drugs are more likely to miss days of work, file workers’ compensation claims, and have low productivity levels.
In fact, employee drug use is a major cause of absenteeism. People who abuse alcohol miss a collective 500 million days from work each year.
Companies that drug test are able to screen out problem applicants before they get hired. But what should you do if you suspect current employees have a problem?
In this article, we’ll give you some good reasons to start drug testing and help you find more information about the best drug tests.
Create a Safer Workplace
One of the main reasons to drug test employees is safety. If an employee is impaired, they may not be following workplace safety laws precisely.
This could result in danger to the customer, other employees, and vendors. If you’ve noticed an increase in safety violations lately, you might have an employee drug problem on your hands.
Companies that drug test are able to screen for a variety of drugs including opiates, marijuana, and cocaine.
There are several types of drug tests: the number of drugs tested for can vary as well as the way the test is administered. There are urine drug tests, blood tests, and saliva tests.
Five-panel drug tests are great because they test for common drugs. Take the time to learn more about five-panel drug tests and whether they’re right for your company.
Avoid Liability Issues
In general, you are looking for ways to screen out drug abusers before they become a liability to your company. In the event of an accident, you could be financially liable for the damage your employee caused.
Studies estimate up to 50% of all workers’ compensation cases are caused by people who were on drugs at work. We all know there’s an opioid epidemic in the United States, but we might not realize how pervasive opioid use really is.
When you’re going through the hiring process with a new candidate, make sure the initial paperwork states you can do random drug tests. You definitely want to drug test new hires before a final offer of employment, but you can do spot checks as long as it’s stated in their paperwork.
If you’re a new business, take the time to outline your drug policies in your employee handbook. Having the information in one place will ensure that everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Depending on the state you operate in, you may also be eligible for a discount on your workers’ compensation insurance policy for initiating a drug-free workplace policy.
Improve Your Reputation
Unfortunately, companies who don’t drug test run the risk of ruining their reputations. All it takes is one major accident and you can erode your relationship with long-term customers.
If your small business has a reputation for slow service, employees who don’t care, or rampant drug abuse, it’s time to turn that around. While you don’t want to have to replace all your employees, you can crack down on lateness and absenteeism.
This is the first step toward improving your reputation. You might find you have to find new employees, but don’t get discouraged.
As long as you drug test from the beginning, you stand a much better chance of hiring solid, long-term employees. Drug testing doesn’t have to be expensive, but you should do it regularly. You can typically test for $50 or less per employee.
In the event of a safety violation or accident, your employees are legally required to take a drug test.
Help Employees Kick the Habit
Another great reason to implement a drug-free workplace policy is you could save someone’s life. If you drug test an existing employee and they come up positive, you’re not required to fire them.
You can help them get into a rehabilitation program and, hopefully, help them turn their lives around. It’s up to you, but helping your employees could make your business much stronger in the long run.
If you suspect employee drug use, you might want to run a safety analysis. Do a complete audit of your internal processes and see whether you’ve got any gaping holes.
You could even have an outside firm come in and evaluate your employee productivity while you’re doing drug testing. A neutral third party will tell you everything you need to know about your safety protocols.
Remember, there is a high rate of relapse among drug abusers. Only about 2% of all crack addicts, for example, will overcome their habit. If you want to help your employees get clean, it could be a long-term investment.
Are There Still Companies That Drug Test?
Surprisingly, the number of companies that drug test for employment is decreasing. Legalization of recreational marijuana is contributing to a general feeling that drug testing isn’t worthwhile anymore.
If you want to make your company bullet-proof against lawsuits and public disapproval, it’s worth it to drug test your employees on a regular basis.
Don’t just test front line workers, either. Get all the way up into the C-suite and test your executives on a regular basis. Send the message that nobody is exempt from your drug-free workplace policy.
More than 100 people die every day from opioid addiction. Do you want to deal with addiction and drug abuse at work?
The choice is up to you, but to get a head start on making your workplace safer, you’ll have to perform regular drug testing on all employees.
We offer a wide range of free forms for every aspect of your business. If you don’t see a particular form, we have the capacity to make it for you for free. Drop us a line and we can help you create your drug-free workplace paperwork today!