Workplace drug testing is a standard in many companies. However, despite its long history, it continues to remain a controversial practice. With varying opinions as to the appropriate balance between workplace safety and employee privacy, many business managers are left scratching their heads as they consider the pros and cons of drug testing in the workplace.
While workplace drug testing offers many benefits, there are also a few potential problems you should be aware of before moving forward. Here’s what you need to know.
The Pros of Workplace Drug Testing
Workplace drug testing offers several benefits and advantages. As a business manager, you likely want to keep your workforce safe and free from unnecessary accidents and situations you may be found liable for. In that regard, workplace drug testing offers many pros.
1. It promotes safety.
First and foremost, regular workplace drug testing helps to promote safety. Employees who know they will be regularly screened for drugs are less likely to commit an infraction. This leads to fewer impaired workers, reducing the risk of accidents.
Depending on your industry, drugs could have different effects on your business. Companies that utilize heavy machinery, such as warehouses or contractors, should pay serious attention to the potential consequences of an employee using drugs while at work.
2. It reduces company liability.
When an accident occurs on company property, the business is potentially liable if it is deemed that they failed to maintain a safe working environment. Regular drug screenings help protect companies from legal action by identifying any employees who may pose a threat to worker safety due to drug use.
3. It keeps employees accountable.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans work to turn their lives around. Past drug addicts find work, strive to get clean, and look for accountability in recovery groups. However, the struggle to go back to drugs is a difficult one.
When a company tests their employees regularly, it gives additional accountability for employees to stay clean, and continue working. You can use workplace drug testing to keep employees accountable and overcome any past drug problems.
4. It saves the company money.
When an employee using drugs causes an accident, there are many fees the company must pay. Potential legal fees, personnel injury, or damage to company property/equipment can all add up in cost. When you regularly test your employees for drugs, you can prevent potential accidents from happening before they do, saving your company money as they don’t have to deal with any fallout.
The Cons of Workplace Drug Testing
Although workplace drug testing is a valuable practice with many unique advantages, there are some cons to be aware of. If you’re thinking about implementing workplace drug testing into your company, here are a few things to consider.
1. It’s an additional expense.
One of the biggest and most obvious cons of workplace drug testing is the additional expense to the company. Drug testing isn’t free, and depending on the size of your business, the cost is quite large.
Depending on the plan, you may end up spending around $40 per person. While that may not seem like a lot, it can really add up if you have a lot of employees. For example, a company with 200 employees will have to pay $8,000 for one round of testing. Two tests a year means you’d have to allocate $16,000 of your company budget towards drug testing alone.
2. It violates employee privacy.
Another more controversial con of workplace drug testing is that it violates employee privacy. Many employees in the workplace feel that drug testing is invasive and infringes on their right to privacy. This has resulted in a large feeling of resentment towards drug testing from the average workforce.
Many companies that have implemented mandatory workplace drug testing have seen a decrease in employee morale and productivity. Putting a hit on company revenue. While this isn’t always the case, it is something to be mindful of before implementing any drug testing procedure.
The pros and cons of workplace drug testing should be considered before making any final decision regarding your business. Understanding the risks of not testing, as well as the benefits of testing, will help you make a decision. Always be sure to consider your company, what you do, and what potential risks you take by not testing your workforce for drugs. Above all, work diligently to keep your company and your employees safe, so that your company can continue to run optimally and successfully.