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Workplace Safety

An effective drug testing program promotes a safe, productive workplace in addition to a multitude of other benefits. Over 65 percent of all accidents on the job are related to misuse of drugs or alcohol, costing companies millions of dollars each year in employee turnover, absenteeism, productivity loss, and workers compensation costs. We will walk through these risks and why a drug and alcohol testing program has proven to help in these areas. But first…


Is Drug and Alcohol abuse that Prevalent in the U.S. Workforce?

The simple answer, Yes. According to the American Council for Drug Education’s (ACDE) Facts for Employers, more than half (57%) of employers conduct drug tests on all job candidates. Why? Americans consume 60 percent of the world’s production of illegal drugs, according to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).


Workplace Safety is the Main Concern for Drug and Alcohol Testing

Workplace safety is the chief concern for responsible companies. It's easy to see how people operating machinery, or any safety sensitive function, under the influence of alcohol or drugs could cause problems. Substance abusers are about 3.5 times more likely to be involved in accidents on the job and 5 times more likely to hurt themselves at work, according to ACDE. They are also 5 times more likely to file for worker's comp. Worse yet, these substance abusers also are responsible for 40 percent of all industrial fatalities. OSHA reports that 10 to 20 percent of the nation's workers who die at work also test positive for drugs or alcohol.

Regarding alcohol abuse specifically, workers with alcohol problems were 2.7 times more likely than workers without drinking problems to have injury-related absences. A hospital emergency department study showed that 35 percent of patients with an occupational injury were at-risk drinkers. Breathalyzer tests detected alcohol in 16 percent of emergency room patients injured at work. Analyses of workplace fatalities showed that at least 11 percent of the victims had been drinking.


How does testing help with the major risks causing millions of lost dollars annually?

Data is based on the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Drug Testing Efficacy Poll

Risk # 1: Employee Turnover

Substance abuse among workers can increase employee turnover. According to a 2007 study by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, workers who report having three or more jobs in the previous five years are about twice as likely to be current or past year users of illegal drugs as those who have had two or fewer jobs.

Organizations with a high worker turnover will end up spending more on recruiting, hiring and training, as they continually replace workers. Data from the SHRM poll shows that organizations that implemented drug testing saw about a 16 percent decrease in employee turnover rates.

Risk # 2: Employee Productivity

It is no surprise that substance abuse decreases worker productivity. It could cost an organization thousands of wasted dollars each payroll to fully compensate workers who are not operating at expected capacity.

In fact, according to Working Partners, National Conference Proceedings Report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Small Business Association (SBA) and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), has shown that substance abusers are 33 percent less productive than their peers.

According to the SHRM poll, of the organizations that began drug testing, 19 percent experienced an uptick in worker productivity.

Risk # 3: Absenteeism

Substance abusers are also more likely to be absent from work. A high rate of absenteeism costs employers more money paid for sick days and leaves employers with less overall output. According to the Working Partners, National Conference Proceedings Report, substance abusers are 2.5 times more likely to be absent for more than eight days a year than regular workers.

The SHRM poll shows that a drug testing program can lower absenteeism. For those organizations with absenteeism rates greater than 15%, implementing drug testing reduced absenteeism by about 50% overall.

Risk # 4: Worker’s Compensation Claims

Substance abuse in the workplace may also lead to accidents and injuries, which results in costly workers’ compensation claims. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute on Drug Abuse show that substance abusers as much as double the cost of worker’s compensation claims for their employers.

Again, the SHRM poll respondents who had a high rate of workers’ compensation incidences saw an average decrease in workers’ compensation claims of 50 percent, after implementing drug testing.


Protect your business and employees– explore Background Checks and Testing Program

An effective drug testing program promotes a safe, productive workplace. While alcoholism can affect any industry and any organization, big or small, workplace alcoholism is especially prevalent in these particular industries: Food service, Construction, Mining and Drilling, Excavation, Installation, maintenance and repair. Companies face millions of dollars each year in employee turnover, absenteeism, productivity loss, and workers compensation costs.

Background Screening:  Reduce these issues and costs by screening before you hire. Our background screening is a simple and inexpensive tool to help give a 360 degree view of your potential employee. Screening the criminal history and credentials of an applicant is the best way to keep your company from hiring a criminal, registered sex offender, an exaggerator of credentials, or just a plain liar, reducing your company's risk and liability.

Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs: Keep your accident rate down by using one of our customized CleanForce programs where we can help your organization establish and manage a full-service drug and alcohol screening program designed to each individual employer and budget.  A variety of screening methods can be used including hair, oral fluid, and urine. The breadth of the test is determined by you.  SAMHSA Certified Labs are used to ensure the highest accuracy in every test.

Call us today for a free consultation at 503-479-6082 or email us with your questions or concerns.