Workplace drug testing: why companies do it


Imagine if one of your employees had a serious accident at work directly due to the fact that he or she had been taking drugs. Your company name would be splashed across the media – the kind of publicity you certainly do not want.

Federal regulations now dictate that many companies should drug test their employees. Company drug testing policies should be clearly defined and firmly in place. Whether your company is required by law (according to the state you are based in) or not, there are a number of reasons that it is a good idea to test your employees. Drug testing by using drug test kits and having a drug testing policy in place reduces the chances of employing someone that is a regular drug user. Because regular drug users are not employed, a company will improve workplace safety, as non-drug users will function far more reliably and safely than will drug users.

Employing non-drug users will also improve company image and reduce staff turnover because non-drug users are less likely to suffer illness and will have less absences from work. It is thought that drug abuse is a serious problem for employers today, and costs millions of dollars a year due to accidents and lost productivity. In order to prevent this happening, it is now thought desirable to regularly use drug test kits on employees and to have a drug testing policy. This often deters employees from using drugs, or, if they are caught, is a good reason for their dismissal, probably averting a serious accident due to his or her impairment.

Therefore, drug testing can be a deterrent that will improve safety and productivity in the work place.

The drug testing kit 

Before employees can be tested there must be a clear policy outlining the requirement to submit to random drug tests. An employer cannot suddenly just decide to test employees. All employees should be made aware of the policy as soon as they start working for a company. The policy should include information regarding how often the tests will be given, and whether any prior notice will be given. Additionally, it should include information about whether a failure will cause immediate dismissal or the chance to enter a rehabilitation program will be offered.

Drug test kits and programs are readily available for use by companies. Drug test kits can be used on site or at a local clinic, such as a hospital, and will simply require a urine sample from an employee. Some kits give immediate results while some samples will be sent off to a lab test for analysis. A medical professional is not required to collect a sample of urine from an employee although the tester should be the same sex as the subject.

There are several reputable companies available to help you with different stages of the entire drug testing process. A company can have everything managed for it, or it can manage everything itself but might prefer to outsource the random selection process of employees to test. It is important to pick employees at random for these drug tests; otherwise a company could be accused of discrimination and face a lawsuit from a disgruntled employee.


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