Health & Fitness

Drug and Alcohol Policies are for Companies of All Sizes

Pre-employment drug testing, post-accident testing and zero-tolerance policies are as effective in small companies as in the Fortune 500.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than half of employers – 57 percent – conduct drug tests on all job candidates. Testing is heavily represented in the Fortune 500; 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies have articulated drug-free workplace policies, and 67 percent of those companies conduct drug-testing of employees, either as a condition of hiring, randomly, or in incident-related situations.

But it’s not just large companies that can benefit from pre-employment drug testing. Any company that demands a certain level of productivity, adherence to safety, and respect for fellow employees should at least consider establishing a drug-free workplace policy that involves employee drug testing.

Why? Consider the benefits:

Substance abuse is inherently counterproductive and destructive to both the employee and the business. By adopting clear and strict guidelines about what is acceptable behavior in the work environment matters as much for the company of one as the company with 100,000 employees.

Employees can be more productive when drug-free. Employers have learned that they can reduce their costs and increase their profits by eliminating the negative effects of problem employees. By utilizing random drug testing in the workplace, as well as being able to screen out unfit applicants with pre-employment drug testing, accidents, poor judgment, and anti-social behavior are reduced.

Requiring post-accident testing can help protect your company. Accidents in the workplace can sometimes lead to serious injuries and expensive workman’s compensation claims, and these claims have the potential to cripple an otherwise thriving company. This type of situation can often lead to extensive and very expensive hospital bills. Such hospital bills, and the possible costs of rehabilitation, can accrue over long periods of time and ultimately cause increases in worker compensation policy and health insurance premiums.

Increase in healthcare premiums? Particularly in smaller workplaces, the illnesses and injuries of a single employee can increase costs to the entire organization. Some employers have no choice but to raise the portion that employees pay for their policies. The negative reactions may include a departure of valued employees.

Equipment/property damage? Along with injuries to workers, there is also the potential for damage to company equipment. This results in an added expense for a loss in production while the equipment is down, as well as the expense of repairing or having to replace the damaged equipment.

Having a drug and alcohol policy in place, and utilizing random drug testing, can substantially minimize all of these risks. The hard and soft cost savings can be substantial.

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