Last updated: October 25, 2021
Some employers are legally obligated to drug test prospective and current employees—businesses in transportation or federally regulated fields like nuclear energy, for example, as well as safety-related businesses and certain federal agencies. Employers in fields where drug testing isn’t required by law, on the other hand, find testing employees simply makes good business sense.
That goes double for employers engaged in manufacturing. Consider the countless number of steps and the wide array of skills that play into the production process before that ‘Made in America’ label is applied. Are you willing to risk introducing the volatile variables of drug abuse?
Drug abuse in manufacturing is a rapidly rising concern. Machine operators have been found to abuse drugs at a higher rate than the national average and according to estimates, about one in every five workers in manufacturing abuse drugs and alcohol. Put aside the impact it has on the process and you still have a heavy cost. Statistics have shown substance abuse is behind between 38 and 50 percent of all workers’ compensation claims—and that’s just what’s known.
Substance abuse accounts for more than a third of all workplace accidents. It decreases productivity, damages morale, and leaves employers liable for workplace injuries, many of which impact co-workers, rather than the abusers themselves. A drug testing program counters these factors.
By its very nature, manufacturing creates a workplace environment that often demands precision while performing repetitive tasks, some of which are quite dangerous. Workers and supervisors alike must be able to concentrate for long periods of time and avoid distractions that can lead to accidents or decreased productivity.
A substance abuser operating dangerous machinery is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Delivery drivers who abuse drug or alcohol can cause fatal traffic accidents while on the job, leaving the company liable. Product defects that can be traced back to employee drug abuse might result in expensive class action suits. Testing employees for drug abuse is the only sure way to hope to avoid these and other risks.
If you’ve opted out of drug testing up to now because you’ve heard it was a waste of time and money, devising the right plan will actually do the exact opposite. Studies have shown testing programs drastically reduce workplace accident rates. Fewer accidents alone will save money, but you might be surprised to hear a drug testing program may cost much less than you expect.
- Some states make drug-free workplaces eligible for reduced workman’s compensation premiums, perhaps a reduction as high as 90 percent.
- Grants may help pay for the drug testing program.
- Savings on medical costs and reduced workers’ compensation claims.
- A likely reduction in workplace theft.
- Lower rates of absenteeism (and a corresponding increase in productivity)
If you’re concerned about the difficulties involved in testing all your employees at once, you may want to consider a mobile drug testing provider over an off-site lab. These services bring certified technicians using the latest methods and equipment directly to your door. Because that testing process takes place at the workplace, you won’t have to worry about time lost due to transportation and waiting rooms. Some service providers do more than just test and will help devise a tailored program which helps fit your unique business operation needs.
- The mobile drug testing company maintains complete, accurate records and a pristine chain of custody.
- Testing is available on demand, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Results are accurate and reliable.
- The provider is up-to-date on and compliant with all state and federal laws.
- Employees run no transportation risk to and from an off-site lab
- Delayed tests and retests–and the additional expenses you would incur for them–are no longer an issue.
A drug-free workplace saves businesses money. Once implemented, the investment starts showing dividends, but it’s more than money. It’s peace of mind and a safer manufacturing environment for everyone involved in the process, whether you’re on the line or in the front office.