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Workplace drug testing has been a matter of great debate over the years. While it has been a common practice in the United States and other countries for a long time, it has not come without its challenges. When you look at it from the point of view of the employer, it is the best possible way for them to know about their staff members and their ability to perform for the company. On the other hand, employees working for these employers often make claims that workplace drug testing is essentially a severe invasion of their privacy.
Taking into consideration the employer’s point of view, here are some of the most significant advantages and disadvantages of the use of workplace drug testing. This will help you realize why the test might be a necessary measure for you to take on for the betterment of your company.
Advantages of Workplace Drug Testing
There are several advantages of employing the use of workplace drug testing in companies. Some of the most important ones include:
Reduction of Possible Legal Liabilities for Your Company
Accidents can happen at any time and with anybody. That is a fact we are all aware of. However, when an accident happens at work, the employer can potentially face legal liabilities. This is especially true if the accident that occurred was because of the employer’s failure to provide a safe working employment to employees. When the employer has made no requirement of drug testing at work, there is no method through which they can recognize any of the employees working for them that pose a risk to other employees or themselves of substance abuse.
This essentially puts the employer in a legally liable position for not being able to ensure a safe working environment. Through employing workplace drug testing – which typically involves the use of urine drug tests – an employer can help to minimize the occurrence of workplace accidents due to impaired workers. Workplace drug testing discourages substance abuse in employees and reduces the potential for legal liability on the employer because of any accidents resulting from substance abuse.
Promotion of A Safer Working Environment
Building on the last advantage, we come to the second one. In fact, this might be the biggest advantage of workplace drug testing. When there is a substance abuse detection program set into place in a workplace, it automatically promotes employee health and safety.
It is an undeniable fact that employees who use drugs pose a safety risk to themselves and to others in the company. This is especially true if the job entails any risk factors in and of itself. You cannot rely on a person who resorts to substance abuse to be capable of handling hazardous chemicals, operate heavy machinery or even drive around vehicles under the influence of drugs.
Workplace drug testing can expose any potential risks to the safety and security of everybody working in the company. In addition, it can help companies deal with the situation before it can result in a serious incident.
It Helps Employees Facing Substance Abuse Issues
It is true that most of the companies immediately fire employees that fail drug tests. After all, that is an essential part of the drug and alcohol abuse policy in most companies. However, there are some employers that take a more thoughtful approach and try to give the employees that fail drug tests a second chance. In such a scenario, employees feel more inclined to work together with the company and they can also benefit from the workplace drug testing if they indeed have substance abuse problems.
Such employers can help employees by getting them into recovery or rehabilitation programs. This enables the employees with substance abuse problems to become clean and free of their substance abuse problem. It also means that employers can retain their best employees and garner a whole new level of trust between themselves and their employees. After all, it is better for a company to retain their talented, experienced employees than go around hiring new ones.
Drug Tests Are Not That Invasive
While people might claim that workplace drug testing is invasive, the truth is actually the opposite. They are minimally invasive since they do not require the collection of blood samples or anything even mildly as uncomfortable as that.
Urine drug tests are the norm for workplace drug testing. They require employees to just submit the sample by urinating into the urine drug test jars and for the samples to be tested. Urine drug tests have become a lot more efficient at being able to provide drug test results. In fact, the urine drug test jars at Ovus Medical are able to detect the use of drugs within just minutes of the collection of the sample.
Urine drug testing can deliver reliable and accurate results in almost no time, which streamlines the whole process for both the employers and employees.
Increased Safety Means More Efficiency
Since workplace drug tests like urine drug tests provide an efficient method of drug testing, it discourages employees under the influence of drugs from coming to work. When they are not under the influence of any substance that can impair their ability to work efficiently, it means that not only is the workplace a lot safer, it is a lot more productive.
Accident rates drop in workplaces that employ drug testing programs. Other than that, it also happens to reduce the incidents of absenteeism, tardiness and any behavioral difficulties displayed by employees.
Disadvantages of Workplace Drug Testing
When there are advantages, there are also going to be challenges. Nothing in the world comes without disadvantages and workplace drug testing also has some of its own.
The most obvious disadvantage that employers experience because of workplace drug testing is the cost of running these programs.
Workplace drug testing has not always been the cheapest practice. After all, taking on extra measures for making sure that the workplace is safer and more secure for everybody means that there will be more expenses. A lot of employers might see this as a disadvantage but, this is an investment that ensures a safer and more productive workplace employment.
Besides, workplace drug testing has become a lot affordable since the advent of new and improved urine drug testing methods employed by companies like Ovus Medical. You no longer need to engage drug testing labs to provide you effective drug testing results. You can manage all of it in house.
Accusations of Violation of Privacy
Arguably, the biggest challenge that employers face because of workplace drug testing is the accusations from disgruntled employees who oppose workplace drug testing. Much of the accusations and opposition from employees stem from the idea that workplace drug testing invades their right to privacy. Since they are able to cite specific laws, which guarantee that they are right, it can establish the groundwork for resentment among employees. That can lead to reduced productivity at the workplace.
Employers need to be able to handle how to conduct workplace drug tests and use a more proactive set of measures to deal with employees who fail these tests.
Unfair Dismissal Lawsuits
Workplace drug testing can result in the dismissal of employees if they fail to pass the drug tests. This can lead to many disgruntled employees who have been terminated for substance abuse to file wrongful dismissal lawsuits against their companies.
While the company will almost always win the lawsuit due to the fact that they already have strict drug and alcohol abuse policies in their contracts, the company still stands to lose money. After all, lawsuits are a costly measure, no matter what kind they are. It can take employers’ focus away from the operational procedures of the company and incur heavy financial costs because of all the legal proceedings that they will have to take.
Of course, employers can avoid this problem if they communicate their workplace drug and alcohol abuse policies very clearly right off the bat.
Considering all of the advantages and disadvantages defined for workplace drug testing, it is easy to see which one outweighs the other. We can conclusively say that workplace drug testing has more of an upside than the disadvantages.
It is very easy for people to be able to obtain drugs and alcohol. Employers in the high risk, sensitive industries need to keep workplace drug testing a requirement in order to ensure the safety, security and well-being of everybody involved. However, it is necessary to say that workplace drug testing should be extended to industries across the board in order to ensure safer and more efficient workplace environments everywhere.
Establishing solid drug and alcohol abuse policies is a good start. Beyond that, employing drug testing programs that use reliable and cheap drug testing apparatus will make sure that the programs don’t become a burden for the employer and help them achieve their goals of a safer workplace.