Business Problems

The Drug-Free Workplace


Maintaining a drug-free workplace is imperative to your business’ well being. Not only does it provide peace of mind, but it also provides the foundation of a solid and ethical framework at the heart of your business. There are many benefits to a drug-free workplace, not the least of which is an increased bottom-line stemming from employee productivity and reduced operating costs. If you are not already running a drug-free workplace, implementing one might seem challenging, but it certainly is not too late. For starters, here are a few easy steps you can follow.

Make the decision

If you aren’t sure about whether or not to implement a drug-free workplace policy, research the reasons why. From a safety perspective, knowing that your employees are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job means that negligence is less likely to occur. From a business perspective, workers’ compensation suits will be reduced and the overall productivity of your labor force will increase. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, substance abusers file three to five times as many workers’ compensation claims. Also, you will certainly see a reduction in employee absenteeism; substance abusers are two and a half times more likely to be absent eight or more times a year. Finally, substance abusers also incur 300% higher medical costs than non-abusers. These reasons alone should amount to more than enough justification for any business owner to make the switch.

Educate your employees

It is important to let your employees know why you seek to foster and promote a drug-free environment. Assure them that you are not out to get them. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. A drug-free workplace is a safe workplace, one that employees should feel more comfortable coming to every day. Because drug use can increase negligence, it may lead to dangerous situations that no employee should want to be around. Remember, you are not invading their privacy by testing them. Rather, you’re looking out for their safety.

Find a drug-testing lab

After making the decision to drug-test your employees, you’ll need to find a company that provides lab analysis for the detection of drugs and alcohol. It’s possible to do this locally, or you can send your samples away for analysis. Deciding testing provider to use will of course vary depending on your exact needs, but every business should research their options. The most important thing is that whichever testing company you choose, it should provide a reliable service that you can trust.

Spell out your policy

Spend some time writing out exactly what your drug-free workplace policy will entail. You might want to think about getting a lawyer to look over your documents. When writing the policy, think about what you want to gain from the policy and how it will affect the employees. Then, hold a meeting and educate your employees. Make sure everyone understands what they are agreeing to, and how it will change the workplace in positive ways. You may want to get feedback from your employees and then decide how to make certain changes.

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