Business owners often hesitate to implement occupational drug testing or employee screening programs in the workplace out of fear of cost, the time investment, or the impact a new program would have on the workforce.
It’s no secret that violations of company drug and alcohol policies are an escalating problem in today’s workplace.
According to a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
- 8% of Americans have used illicit drugs within the past month;
- 15% of employed Americans abused drugs within the past year.
So basically, if you have 20 employees in your organization, chances are two of them have abused illicit drugs in the past 6 months. Do you know who those two are? SHOULD you know who those two are?
As a business owner, your priority is managing costs and maximizing profits.
Occupational drug testing programs don’t need to be expensive or difficult to maintain, and are easily scalable to the size of your business, and its individual needs.
Where do you Start?
Companies considering implementing a drug-testing program begin with establishing policies and procedures for all employees. Many businesses contract with Affordable On-Sites to develop their testing policies and procedures including:
- Policy Development: Affordable On-Sites can assist you in developing company occupational drug testing and employee screening policies. We’re your trusted partner to develop effective policies that reduce insurance costs and increase productivity for your business.
- Developing a Drug Testing Program in Your Company – The average cost of drug abuse per employee annually is $10,000 due to employee turnover, Workers Compensation claims, absenteeism, employee theft, violence on the job and the use of health care benefits. Putting policy in place can help you avoid these needless expenses.
- Pre-Employment Testing: The most common type of testing is pre-employment, where companies request candidates undergo drug testing as a condition of their new employment. Making this requirement clear at the start of the interview process will help you outline your concrete reasons why drug and alcohol is not tolerated in your business.
- Current Employee Testing: If you intend to perform testing for current employees, your process begins with establishing a clear discipline guideline in case of a positive test, and performing training and education for supervisors and employees.
- Post-employment Testing: includes random testing (for safety sensitive positions), individualized suspicion testing, post-accident testing, and testing that is legally required in certain industries like the Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements for truck drivers. Each of these types of testing is legally sensitive, and an employer should have a program in place before starting.
- Post-Accident Testing: A common policy companies implement is the requirement for drug testing in the event of a workplace accident. This ensures that impairment by drugs or alcohol wasn’t a factor in the accident. Several insurance companies are now requiring post-accident drug testing in order to make insurance claims, and having this as an established policy for your company may allow you to negotiate lower insurance rates.
What are the Costs/Benefits of Implementing a Drug Testing Program?
Drug testing may raise feelings of anxiety and concern with existing employees, but if you demonstrate that your reasons for the policy benefit both the company (with reduced costs) and the employees (with increased safety), you are more likely to overcome any objections.
Drug tests for small to medium employers generally cost $50-$70, including collection of the sample, laboratory analysis, services of a Medical Review Officer, and results reporting. Compared to the cost of even one employee with a substance abuse problem, most firms find eliminating the problem is well worth the time and money involved with implementing a drug- testing program.
As your company’s partner in occupational drug testing, Affordable On-Sites offers a unique program of on-site testing at your location. Representatives will come to your site to collect specimens, allowing your employees to return to work immediately. If your company operates in multiple locations, Affordable On-Sites offers nationwide testing services.
What is Tested?
The most common testing option is a standard 5-Panel test. This simple hair test looks for the most common recreational or street drugs, including Phencyclidine (PCP), Marijuana (THC), Cocaine, Opiates (such as codeine and morphine) and Amphetamines (including methamphetamine).
Some employers use a 9-Panel test, which includes testing for Phencyclidine (PCP), Opiates, Marijuana, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Propoxyphene, as well as prescription drugs that are legal to possess and use. Employers also may test for alcohol. Our 9-panel drug test exceeds the industry standard, delivering deeper employee analyses and insights and providing greater peace of mind to critical industries like trucking, day care and education.
We employ the services of a Medical Review Officer (MRO) to review all positive results
When to Test?
Every drug has a slightly different effect on each employee, however most drugs stay in a person’s system for two to four days after consumption. Most employers will determine a schedule of regular random drug testing. The specific schedule of drug testing should be kept confidential from employees to ensure that employees don’t attempt to avoid detection or mask drug use.
When it’s time to develop your company’s occupational drug testing policy, let us help! Affordable On-Sites has been keeping companies safe for more than 20 years.
Call or Email Affordable On-Sites for a Free Consultation
Locally (919) 620-0822, ext. 105 | Nationwide at (855) 267-8378 | Email: email@example.com