Employee Drug Testing
Employee Drug Testing helps employers during the hiring process as well as during an employee's tenure at their company by enabling an employer to maintain a drug free workplace environment. Running drug tests before hiring a new employee enables a hiring manager to eliminate the risk of hiring unworthy candidates and spending resources on training and then having to get rid of unworthy employees.
Your Company could be Losing Money by Employing a Drug User:
- An employee that uses drugs could have over 300% higher medical costs than a non-user increasing insurance rates. (US Chamber of Commerce)
- Drug users are 5 times more likely to file workman's compensation claims than non-users. (US Department of Labor)
- Workers Comp claims related to drug abuse in the work place make up roughly 30%-50% of all claims. (US Department of Labor)
- According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction, drug abuse or addition allows employees function at only 67% of their capacity.
- Tardiness is a huge factor when it comes to drug users, employees that abuse drugs are three times more likey to be tardy than non-users as well as having an absentee rate of 30-35 days per year. (US Department of Labor)
History of Drug Testing
Two main incidents contributed to what we now refer to as the "Drug Free Workplace Campaign". The USS Nimitz crash in 1981, and the Maryland train accident in 1987. Both of these events caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, many fatalities as well as injuries. Both events were throughly investigated and in both cases drugs were found to be a contributing factor leading up to these deadly accidents. These findings prompted new laws and regulations ordering mandatory drug testing for federally regulated employees.
Many studies were conducted during the years that followed and it was found that drug abuse was a problem that existed across the board in the workplace. Private employers were prompted to follow suit in running drug tests on prospective and current employees.
As with most things in business, cost was a major factor in drug testing. When drug testing started, Urine was easy to collect, test, transport and was cost efficient for drug detection at that time. Many factors have however influenced the advancement in drug testing, including specimen alteration/dilution leading to new testing methods.
Consider this when ordering drug testing:
- Urine: This is still the least expensive way to run drug tests. Urinalysis can detect most drug tests for up to 7 days before the test was run. There are ways that the participants can alter the specimen resulting in "un-true" results. Urine testing provides instant results, but does however need to be reviewed by a certified laboratory.
- Saliva: Saliva testing provides and almost instant testing result making it great for pre-employment screening, post workplace accident or for cause. This test can be done on the spot without invading a person's privacy and it is very difficult to alter the results. The drawback is that it may only detect drugs or alcohol consumed within the last 24 hours.
- Hair: A certified lab technician would have to collect the sample. Hair tests can detect drug use from as little as 7 days after use to up to 90 days after use. This is a great test for pre-employment screening. This is however not a good test for after workplace accident testing. This is the most expensive drug testing that you can run, but it is also almost impossible to alter and "fake" the specimen.