Want to know if it is okay to allow drug testing in your workplace? Then read below.

Including workplace drug testing is not as simple as it can seem for many people. Employers usually want to hire staff who do not need illegal drugs in their job life. However, some of the hired workers might find the drug testing program as detrimental to their privacy. But it is normal for employers to want a safe working environment, and they have to ensure all their workers are doing well.

In a study, we have found out that about 56% of US employers use pre-employment drug tests or any random drug test for their new employees. It is pretty normal for the employers’ longing for a drug-free environment. But at the end of the day, it costs them a lot. So here are the pros and cons of having drug tests in your workplace and how it affects your employees.

Pros Of Having Drug Testing In Workplace

There are, of course, pros in finding out your drug-addicted workers, but there is more to it that is more beneficial by drug testing in the workplace. Such as:

Ensures The Safety of Your Workplace

Workplace drug testing by maintaining drug testing laws can help you in keeping your office environment safe for everyone. If all workers are proven to be clean, you can significantly decrease your company’s chances for any kind of drug-related incidents. A study has found out that alcohol and drug use can contribute to 20 to 25 percent of occupational injuries.

The Australian Safety and Compensation Council has done research on some workplace fatalities. In that report, they have found out that alcohol has been the reason for 4% of workers’ death and 7.5% of non-fatal injuries. There are many more researches that indicate the significance of drug testing in the workplace; it does ensure the safety of your company’s workplace.

Stops Job Performance Issues

Both drugs and alcohol can affect a worker’s ability to do their scheduled job well. When they are not fit for the work, they are most likely to arrive late to the workplace or sometimes be absent from work. This can result in workers having poor quality work outputs.

In an article by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, many Australian companies lose about 2.5 million workdays per year just because of drug and alcohol use. On the other side, many cases of abuse of drugs have reportedly cost many workplaces 6 billion dollars a year because of their lost productivity. So drug testing for your employees will enhance their productivity significantly.

Protects The Workplace From Any Illegal Activities

Drug abuse in the workplace can push your company down as compared to your competitors. Letting a stoned employee report to work enhances their risk of hurting themselves and their colleagues. If an accident occurs, you will end up dealing with a lot of legal problems, which will indicate that you have failed to keep a safe environment in your workplace.

Workplace drug testing will let you protect your company and employees from that type of scenario, and you will be able to point out any potential bad scenario like that.

Boosts Company’s Public Image

Keeping a safe working environment can assist in boosting your company’s public image. If your company had any type of workplace accident, it would be very bad for your whole organization. Everything will fall apart if you let a stoned employee work in your workplace. This scenario will not happen and your public image will stay intact if you do drug testing before hiring employees.

Improves Workers’ Morale

If you do drug testing, the majority of your employees will feel like you are looking after their health, and they will be even more motivated. If you have an effective and consistent drug control policy in the workplace, you are ensuring your staff that their wellbeing is very crucial to you. That will motivate them greatly, and they will commit to their tasks even more.

Helps to Find Worker’s Drug-Related Problems

Workplace drug testing is not only beneficial for company holders but also for its employees as well. When you identify the sufferers among your workers, they will feel free to share their issues with you, and you will be able to offer them appropriate help. Drug testing is not a humiliating thing for your workers; it is about looking after them if any of them are facing serious health issues.

There are several firms that do not fire workers who are failing their drug screening. Rather, they provide the ability for their staff to go to a rehab facility. Even some employees get chances as they can do their jobs from their outpatient facility.

Cons Of Having Drug Testing In Workplace

Until now, we pointed out the pros of drug testing in the workplace. Now we are going to point out its cons. They are:

Drug Testing Is Expensive

Let’s be real. A trustworthy workplace drug testing program will cost a huge amount of money, which heavily depends on the methods used. A singular drug test can cost about 40 dollars per employee. Other programs can require more investments, especially if the company wants to include pre-employment drug testing. This can significantly impact the company’s profits. For some reason, some businesses try to do drug testing only to find out they cannot bear the expenses.


The Company Could Face Complaints From Employees

Drug testing at work is fully legal in Australia. Many companies include the program in their full workplace drug policy. But it does not change the point that it tends to alienate some workers. For some employees, workplace drug testing can violate their privacy rights. They think these types of programs violate their personal space and take away their freedom. In some cases, workers are picked for drug testing, which makes them feel they are being pointed out for something. This behavior makes them feel aggrieved towards their employers.

Drug Tests Will Not Be Accurate All The Time

It is not unusual for companies to mistakenly mark some of their employees as positive, which can ruin their life. False-positive results are very common in the drug test campaign because some foods or medicines can show the ‘signatures’ as a drug. Here are some of the common medications which are known to result in false positives:

  • Amitriptyline
  • Bupropion
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Diltiazem
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Ibuprofen
  • Metformin
  • Fluoxetine
  • Pseudoephedrine
  • Labetalol
  • Methylphenidate
  • Doxylamine
  • Sertraline
  • Tramadol
  • Quetiapine
  • Phentermine
  • Oxaprozin
  • Venlafaxine
  • Proton pump inhibitors (esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole)
  • Quinolone antibiotics (ofloxacin, levofloxacin)

All of them show false positive results if the workers take any of those medications.

Random Drug Tests Are Not Comprehensive

Many people on the job do not take drugs, and drugs have nothing to do with most of the accidents. Rather they are mostly caused by fatigue or alcohol. Many workplace drug testing overlooks the other causes of possible accidents, such as illness, alcohol, fatigue, or even emotional distress.

Furthermore, the effects of alcohol can last long enough to give its presence in the drug test to make a positive signal. Many workers are forced to leave their workplace because of it even though they are not drunk while doing work.

Your Company Might Face Unfair Dismissal Lawsuits

It is common for companies to fire their employees who were found positive for drug use. Yet some employees also blame their businesses for unfair dismissal. Both for the claimant and the corporation, these cases are very time – consuming and expensive.

Before doing any drug testing procedures, it is best to consult your legal departments first. Make sure your policy for drug testing is clearly understood by everyone in your company. This will heavily help you to avoid any high risky legal issues.

Drug Tests Make It Harder To Hire Qualified Workers

A lot of people have at least tried marijuana and many use it weekly. So when they do drug tests, they become disqualified candidates, or they do not even apply for that work in the first place. It has become very difficult for many people to find a suitable job. Even the companies are failing to find a well-qualified candidate for their tasks because of the drug test disqualifications.

This situation is regrettable when companies have to fire their most valuable and dedicated employees in an effort to stay safe, which does not necessarily prove to make the workplace safe or even improve their safety.

The Bottom Line

In short, workplace drug testing now might have gotten cheaper than before, but you have to remember to not lose any valuable and dedicated employee. We recommend you do impairment testing such as AlertMeter to reduce your drug testing expenses. Just make sure that everyone in your workplace is aware of your policies related to drug testing.