There are several reasons why pre-employment drug testing is mandatory. While it can feel uncomfortable to do or to make your employees do, it is there for a reason. The use of alcohol and drugs in the workplace can be hazardous and lead to serious accidents. If you are unsure why drug screening is required for a job, then look no further as this post will go through 5 of the main reasons that pre-employment drug testing is mandatory.
Health And Safety
First and foremost, pre-employment drug testing was put into place to improve health and safety in workplace environments. If an individual is abusing drugs, this can be very risky especially if they are employed in an industry that requires the individual to operate heavy machinery, lift heavy items or deal with customers on a face-to-face basis. It is not safe for the individual nor is it safe for anyone around them.
Pre-employment drug testing contributes to a significant reduction of injuries in the workplace. This makes sense as if a person is not in the right state of mind to do a job, but they do it anyway then this is when accidents can occur. This is why drug and alcohol testing has become mandatory in many industries. Naturally, accidents can vary in nature, but even the smallest of accidents can lead to huge consequences. For instance, if someone blackouts due to an excess of drugs, they could fall on someone and this could lead to that person hitting their head hard on another object. While it may seem like an extreme chain of events, it happens more often than you might think.
Additionally, employees using drugs will have an impaired judgement and a skewed understanding of their surroundings. This combination makes for a very unsafe workplace and will inevitably result in injuries. So the best and safest option is for companies to carry out drug testing and for those that do, they will see a reduction in workplace injuries which benefits both employees and the business.
Insurance And Compensation Claims
This brings us nicely onto our next point, as the fewer accidents that occur in the workplace the lower your insurance rates will be. So the employees benefit from being able to work in a safe environment and the businesses benefit as they get to save money and avoid any compensation claims. If a company hires an individual who hurts themselves on the job, they can make a compensation claim. Now, this individual may have been using drugs which led to the accident but it will result in a case of both parties having to prove their case. The more claims a business has to make, the higher their insurance rates will go.
Pre-employment drug testing can help reduce a company’s liability. One thing that every business wants to avoid is getting involved in unnecessary lawsuits. While not every accident can be prevented, there are ways to reduce the likelihood of one happening. For instance, if you know what employees pose as a risk to others as they are using drugs, this employee can be removed from the workplace before causing any issues. The issue of not drug testing is that the liability is then shifted onto the company, and so if an accident occurs due to an individual being high and this accident affects others, all of these employees can then take legal action against the company. While this line of thought feels quite financially focused, this is an important thing for businesses to consider otherwise they could quickly go bankrupt due to legal complications. What’s more, a legal battle can take up a lot of time, effort and money. Consequently, one of the best ways to prevent this is through pre-employment drug testing.
Performance And Productivity
A safe work environment leads to a productive work environment. Research has shown time and time again that if staff feel safe, this improves their productivity. Additionally, employees who drink or use drugs will be cognitively impaired, have a skewed judgement, make poor decisions and work more slowly. This is not good for business performance and can lead to others also performing badly as it sets a poor example and employees begin to accept it as the standard. There are a lot of factors that will affect performance and productivity, but one of the most harmful factors is employees who are under the influence. This also happens to be a factor that companies can assert control over by doing pre-employment drug testing.
Company reputation can be put at risk if they hire people who are drinkers or drug users. There are so many things that could go wrong, and if they do, it will reflect poorly on the company. A company’s reputation is vital to the businesses success and survival. All it takes is one bad accident and the reputation of a company can be in tatters. It is very difficult to do damage control and to try and rebuild trust from customers and employees when things go wrong. This is why pre-employment drug testing is mandatory in so many industries, as there is so much at stake. The hiring process can be difficult enough as it is, and drug screening is a process that helps to alleviate some of the stressors that come with recruiting new staff.
What Drugs Are Tested For During A Screening?
Tests typically look for the following drugs in a person’s system;
If a test is being conducted to find alcohol in the system, this is done using an alcohol breathalyser. All drug tests will be carried out discreetly, sensitively and professionally by trained health care specialists. If a potential employee/ current employee tests positive for any of the aforementioned drugs then the company will be notified. They then have the information they need to decide how they move forward.
So while it may feel a bit personal or invasive to have to undergo a drug test, there are many reasons why it has become a mandatory process. It is all for the greater good and it is a vital component in improving health and safety across Australian workplaces.
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