Drug testing in the workplace – why it's important

drug testing in the workplace – they might think it’s an unnecessary expense, or they’d “know” if their employees weren’t sober at work. But these days this is a naive outlook to have. Gut feelings aren’t always right, however strong that feeling may be – and here is some data from the Department of Labor that may make such employers reconsider their views. These figures may fluctuate slightly annually but, over the past several decades, they have remained at a pretty consistent level. – More than six percent of the population over 12 years of age (13.9 million people) has used drugs within the past thirty days. – Seventy-three percent of all current drug users aged 18 and older (8.3 million adults) are employed. This includes 6.7 million full-time workers and 1.6 million part-time workers. – More than 14 percent of Americans employed full- and part-time report heavy drinking, which is defined as five or more drinks on five or more days in the past 30 days. The heaviest drinking occurred among persons between the ages of 18 and 25 years. – Of the 11.2 million heavy drinkers in the USA, 30 percent (3.3 million) also were current illicit drug users. – Construction workers (15.6%), sales personnel (11.4%), food preparation, wait staff, and bartenders (11.2%), handlers, helpers, and laborers (10.6%,) and machine operators and inspectors (10.5%) reported the highest rates of current illicit drug use. Protective service workers reported the lowest rate of current drug use (3.2%). – The occupational categories with above-average rates of heavy alcohol use, in addition to construction, were handlers, helpers, and laborers (15.7%), machine operators and inspectors (13.5%), transportation and material movers (13.1%), precision production and repair workers (13.1%), and employees in food preparation, including wait staff and bartenders (12.2%). – According to a national survey conducted by the Hazelden Foundation, more than sixty percent of adults know people who have gone to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. – Alcoholism costs 500 million lost work days each year, while alcohol and drug abuse cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Statistics such as these suggest not only that workplace substance abuse is an issue all employers need to address, but also, that it is an issue that can be successfully prevented. And prevention is simple – drug testing. Bring in a professional drug testing company to ensure that your employees are adhering to law and company policy. Don’t wait any longer – it is costing you and your business money and efficiency.]]>

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