Employers here in Oklahoma have an opportunity to use a new State law to their advantage. The most common reason that companies adopt drug testing is to reduce workplace accidents related to drug use. Using drugs, whether on or off the job, increases the likelihood that employees will have a job accident. This law can help create a safer workplace while saving money for the employer.
On May 9, 2011, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation amending the Oklahoma Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing. The Act goes into effect November 1, 2011.
Employers currently drug testing in Oklahoma, will need revisions to policies and procedures to conform to the new law. Those employers who are not yet drug testing, should take this opportunity now to implement a program to effect a safer workplace lowering overall workers compensation costs. Bottom line, the program in Oklahoma can result in safer workplaces and save employers money.
Studies show that approximately 75% of substance abusers are employed and that approximately 9% of the nation’s workforce are substance abusers. The federal government also has reported that drug abusing employees, when compared to non-using workers, are:
- Not staying in a job very long (High Turnover)
- Not showing up for work (High Absenteeism)
- Less productive employees (Poor Job Performance)
- More likely to be involved in a workplace accident and
- More likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The new law in Oklahoma for Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing is employer friendly. It allows an employer require an employee to undergo drug or alcohol testing if the employee or another person has sustained an injury while at work or the employer’s property has been damaged (no dollar minimum required). The law further states that employees who test positive on a post accident drug test shall not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This can provide huge dollar savings for employers and insurance companies.
USA Mobile Drug Testing, a national company specializing in drug free workplace compliance; is prepared to offer all Oklahoma employers a no cost, no obligation review of their current drug free workplace program. Employers without a drug testing program can also receive a no cost, no obligation consultation from USA Mobile Drug Testing to discuss a potential program. Susan Lobsinger of Oklahoma City owns and operates the local USA Mobile Drug Testing Oklahoma Franchise and can be reached at 405-822-0553 or [email protected].