What Are Some of the Advantages of Drug Testing Employees?
There are a wide variety of reasons why employers should consider the advantages of adopting a drug-free workplace policy and implementing a drug testing protocol, and most of them benefit the entire workplace. Whether it's pre-employment drug screenings or random testing, workplace drug testing provides numerous protections for both employers and employees.
If you currently operate or work at a business without a workplace drug testing policy, you might have a few questions about the potential pros and cons. Here's what you need to know about drug testing advantages and related employee drug testing regulations.
What are Some of the Advantages of Drug Testing Employees?
Some of the advantages of drug testing employees are creating a safer work environment for employees, protecting customers from harm, and reducing employer liability and legal costs. Here are the pros of drug testing for employees and employers alike.
1. It Promotes Employee Safety
While there are dozens of workplace incident causes, the use of drugs and alcohol by employees in and out of the workplace can be the source of some pretty serious situations. For those responsible for managing positions that are considered “safety-sensitive,” such as those regulated under the Department of Transportation (DOT), the use of employee drug testing can help identify potential safety concerns in both the pre-employment and ongoing working phases of employment.
By conducting pre-employment drug testing, an employer can identify high-risk applicants with the potential for workplace drug and alcohol abuse. The same can be said for random workplace drug testing practices, as these services can help monitor and maintain workplace safety. From working with heavy machinery to operating company vehicles, the use of ongoing workplace testing can reduce the chance of serious employee injury or death.
2. It Helps Keep Customers Safe
As with employee safety, the use of workplace drug testing can also bring enhanced safety to your customers. Many job industries, such as the trade and transport sectors, rely on workers to safely operate large machinery and tools around customers.
A workplace that fails to conduct either random or pre-employment drug tests can experience an increased risk of workplace substance abuse, which increases the chance of a customer-related incident. In the event of a customer-involved incident, businesses could also face some costly legal implications.
3. It Helps Reduce Employer Liability and Costs
A major workplace drug testing advantage for employers is the reduction of liability and the accompanying costs of an employee or customer-involved incident. In the event that an employee or customer is injured due to a worker’s drug-induced negligence, an employer could face very serious legal threats.
Failure to demonstrate the use of employee drug testing regulations for safety-sensitive positions does not look too good in court, and could potentially cost a business thousands of dollars. Likewise, if any employee injures another employee due to drug-induced workplace negligence, you may also face workers’ compensation coverage costs and a potential workplace lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Drug Tests Benefit the Employees at All?
While it’s true that employee drug testing regulations promote overall workplace safety, there are a few additional drug testing advantages that benefit employees directly. One instance in which individual employees can benefit from drug testing protocol is after a workplace incident or injury in which they were not at fault or falsely blamed for the accident.
Consider an employee who slips and falls while working in a factory. An employer may suggest that the employee was under some type of influence at the time, which could nullify the workers’ compensation claim. An employee who submits to drug testing can prove they were completely sober at the time of the accident to protect their right to medical care after a workplace injury.
Can an Employee Refuse a Drug Test?
Yes, an employee can refuse a drug test; however, they may face repercussions. Refusing to undergo a workplace drug test could be a violation of workplace policy and they may risk job termination and denial of unemployment benefits.
Bear in mind, if an employer does not have a written workplace drug testing policy, it may be the employee’s right to refuse workplace drug testing. An employer should ensure a written policy is in place if they wish to conduct pre-employment and random workplace drug testing.
Cons of Drug Testing? Not Having a Reliable Partner
With various drug testing advantages, the most obvious con is not having a reliable partner. With Health Street’s integrated drug testing and background check services, organizations can mitigate risk with quick and accurate employment screening and secure online reporting. Contact us today to learn more about pre-employment drug tests, random drug testing, and more.