Illegal substance abuse and alcohol consumption among workers in the US is on the increase. In fact, studies have shown that almost 10 percent of all American workers smoke marijuana before going to work in the morning.

This is an alarming statistic considering that such drugs can negatively affect workers’ productivity as well as cause untold harm to the employee who partakes of them and the other innocent employees.

This is why all workplaces must endeavor to carry out drug testing in their facilities. While some employees may complain about drug testing being an invasion of their privacy, the benefits of doing so are far more rewarding.

Ensures the Safety of All Workers

Employee drug testing should be carried out particularly in facilities with safety-sensitive job requirements.

This is even more important considering the legalization of “pot” and the subsequent popularity of marijuana consumption. Narcotic drugs often alter people’s perceptions and provides a temporary sense of invincibility in some cases.

As a result, workers are often more likely to take unnecessary risks, cause accidents, ignore standard safety regulations and protocols, become careless when handling safety-sensitive equipments, and pay little attention to the safety of their coworkers. Essentially, they become a danger to themselves and everyone else.

Random drug testing exercises will drastically help reduce these occurrences as well as ensure the safety of other workers.

Benefits Of Workplace Drug Testing

Prevent Possible Drug Problems in the Future

Drug testing is often a mandatory part of many organization’s pre-employment screening process.

Carrying out this exercise helps employers determine what they’ll be dealing with along the line. No employer wants to deal with substance abuse in the future. Its negative effects can be devastating for the employer, employee(s) and the firm.

Increases Workplace Productivity

Productivity and increased performance are two extremely important metrics in every workplace. So, anything that will undercut these should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Workers who constantly use drugs are less likely to follow instructions, make more mistakes on the job, become careless, produce lower work outputs, suffer from poor concentration, miss set targets and deadlines, and exhibit very poor judgment.

All these affect other workers’ productivity. Eliminating them means increased productivity and results in the workplace.

Lowers Workplace Accidents

Employees that are under the influence of drugs are more likely to cause accidents in the workplace. For instance, someone who is high on marijuana or alcohol can be so disoriented that they walk right into the path of a moving vehicle.

The same goes for someone whose cellphone falls onto the production line and he decides to hop on and get the phone. The results would be disastrous. But, when people know that they can be tested at any time, they are less likely to take any drugs that will cause them to make these mistakes.

Employers Pay Less for Health Insurance Claims

Multiple studies have shown that workplaces with employees who abuse substances frequently are likely to pay thrice more on medical bills and insurance compensation claims than companies with “clean” workers.

Employees who are constantly hopped up on narcotics are a liability to the company. And as the employer, all medical bills resulting from accidents sustained on your premises will be paid by you –not to mention possible personal injury lawsuits.

Random drug testing will help ensure that your workers aren’t hopped up on narcotics, and will reduce the frequency with which you have to pay medical bills and insurance claims.

Lowers Possible Workplace Violence

Drugs compromise your employees’ judgment. Their emotions could also become unstable. This means less restraint and a higher tendency to engage in physical or verbal altercations in the workplace. But drug testing procedures can help you identify any tendencies before they get out of hand.

Drug testing may not be a popular practice. But since doing that will help keep you and your staff safe, you should continue with it or start if you haven’t been doing it in the past. There are many places you can send your employees for testing, whether it be a doctor’s office, blood lab, urgent care, or a private company like Workflow in Orlando, FL.


Oscar King is a business owner and freelance writer who contirbutes artciles and insight into running a smooth and effective workplace. If you would like to learn more about Oscar chek out his Google+ profile.