There are a number of pros/cons of drug testing in the workplace. For example, the benefits of drug testing in the workplace include:
Drug Testing Encourages Responsibility
Workplace drug testing leads to increased responsibility among employees, especially those who might otherwise work under the influence of drugs and alcohol and cause harm to not only themselves but their colleagues, customers, and the general public as well.
Identifies Employees who need Help
Workplace drug testing also identifies workers who have drug and alcohol problems and need outside help. People struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol may not seek help on their own. That is why drug testing is so vital. It helps employers proactively seek help early for employees in need of a rehabilitative program.
Enhances Workplace Health & Safety
Workplace drug testing improves the health and safety of the workplace by deterring people who might otherwise regularly use alcohol or experiment with illicit drugs. It discourages these employees from abusing drugs, which help curb health problems and decrease the risk of injuries or accidents in the workplace.
Additional pros/cons of drug testing, with a focus on the cos, include the following.
Testing is not Real Time
Random drug tests simply let employers know that an employee used a specific drug sometime in the past. But, there is typically a wide time frame. So, this isn’t always helpful. That’s because the main priority of drug testing is to discourage intoxication while employees are working.
Drug testing is not a safety measure because it doesn’t measure drug use in real time. So, many job candidates simply take a break from using drugs when they know they have a drug screen pending.
Test Results are not always Accurate
There are often false positives on drug tests. That’s because some foods and medications can show up as illicit substances on certain types of test. So we use urinalyses. That’s because urine is highly accurate and effective.
Mud Creek Medics
Our team of medical professionals perform these tests for numerous clients. We complete them in our Testing Clinic, the Client’s office or the work site. We supply everything necessary and provide reports upon completion.
To learn more, check out our Drug Testing services.
Ethics of Drug Testing
Regardless of the pros/cons of drug testing, basic ethical principles must be in place to protect the rights of the workers, including the following items.
Before taking the job, the worker must be informed that abstinence from drugs or alcohol is expected. Additionally they need to know that workplace drug testing will occur at some point during their employment.
The worker’s privacy must also be respected. This means that the result and consequences of the drug testing need to be kept private from other employees.
Setting reasonable expectations
The worker’s ability to deal with stressful work experiences should be considered during the interview process. For example, some jobs include exposure to stressful or traumatic experiences, including extended screen time, excessively long or changeable shifts, large numbers of demanding customers or clients, and caring for sick or dying individuals. Ensure the employee understands the requirements and is prepared for such situations.
Defending a positive test
When a workplace drug test comes back positive, there should be repeat tests conducted. The worker should also have the chance to explain a positive drug test result before consequences are considered.
In the case of a positive drug test, the employer should offer rehab or addiction counseling as options.
The employer should also provide support and provide options like transitioning to a more suitable role if needed.
The employer should clearly justify the need for workplace drug testing. This includes demonstrating that the employee or job applicant’s drug use needs be seen as relevant to their role and responsibilities.
Contact us to learn more about our services and employee drug testing at work.