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Drug Testing

Drug Testing

Pre-employment and randomized drug testing can safeguard your company from the risks associated with workplace accidents.

Injuries and high turnover rates are some of the problems that companies face when substance abuse becomes an issue. The quality of hire in your staffing efforts increases when you have employees who are drug-free. You can trust your employees to focus on the critical details in ensuring job safety.

Drug and alcohol screening has become a common measure in today’s business industry. Resumes rarely tell the whole story of a prospective employee’s past. Nearly 67% of job resumes and job applications of unscreened employees contain falsifications. Substance screening during the hiring process will protect your business and reduce the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse. Accidents, tardiness, high turnover rates, temperament problems, embezzlement, low productivity and morale, crime, and violence are to name only a few of the issues associated with substance abuse. You know your staff is less likely to become a legal liability when they are drug-free.

Legal recreational use of marijuana in Colorado does not affect your company’s drug use policies. You have a choice to mandate pre-employment drug testing, alcohol testing, and institute randomized testing for hirees. It does not affect the Colorado Law of 1991 that requires testing for federally-regulated employers and anyone who has a job concerning public safety while operating sensitive transportation vehicles, such as trains, buses, planes, trucks, etc. Schools, hospitals, and some organizations that implement drug testing programs qualify for legal incentives. One example of these incentives is reduced costs for workers’ compensation and insurance. All employers should consult with their legal advisor to ensure compliance with applicable state or local drug testing laws in order to create drug testing policies and procedures in accordance with these regulations.

Federally-regulated employers only collect urine samples for testing, however, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has proposed revisions to include oral fluid specimens. Drug tests can vary depending on the type of test the employer chooses to mandate. Urine, saliva, sweat, or hair can be used as test specimens. Testing can screen for marijuana, opioids, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and cocaine usage. A drug-free workplace can require testing based on the following: Post-accident testing, pre-employment testing, return-to-duty testing, random testing, follow-up testing and reasonable cause or suspicion testing.

Employers can save the company money by preventing accidents caused by impaired workers with preventative measures such as mandatory and randomized testing. Testing imbues an anti-substance abuse culture in the workplace that can save money on workers compensation premiums. The National Safety Council and national nonprofit Shatterproof have collaborated with an independent research institution, NORC at the University of Chicago to design “The Real Cost of Substance Use to Employers”. To estimate the cost of substance abuse by the industry you can use the calculator tool that provides business leaders with specific information about the cost of substance use.

For more information about creating and implementing a prevention and treatment program for your employees, contact the Drug-Free Workplace Helpline at 1-800-WORKPLACE (1-800-967-5752), coordinated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) is a federal agency that works to reduce the impact of substance abuse in the United States and is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Article by Talk Out Loud

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