Pros and Cons of Workplace Drug Testing

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Posted by: David Garcia July 31, 2023

Are you considering workplace drug testing in your company? 

If so, you’re not alone. It’s a great way to have a safer and more productive work environment for your employees. But is it the right move for you? 

Whether or not to screen your employees for drugs is an important decision that can have positive and negative impacts.

Below, we’ll cover what you must consider when determining whether workplace drug testing is right for your company.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Drug Testing in the Workplace? 

It can be challenging to decide whether or not workplace drug testing is the right move for your company.

The truth is: workplace drug testing comes with both advantages and drawbacks. It’s essential to understand the whole picture to make an informed decision on whether or not it’s right for your company.

Below, we’ll cover some pros and cons of implementing drug testing in your workplace: 

Workplace Drug Testing Pros

There are a lot of benefits that you could get from drug testing in the workplace. Below, we’ll cover a few advantages your company will enjoy by implementing this practice. 

Promote Safety

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 305 fatal workplace injuries occurred in 2018 due to unintentional nonmedical drug or alcohol overdose. 

Drug testing in the workplace promotes safety. Employees that are aware they’ll be screened regularly have a lower likelihood of committing an infraction. As a result, you’ll have fewer impaired workers, and your risk of accidents also decreases. 

The extent to which drug usage could impact your business depends on your industry. If workers regularly utilize heavy machinery, you’ll want to be especially aware of the serious consequences of employees being impaired while working. 

Reduce Company Liability

It’s possible that your business could be considered liable when an accident occurs on company property – if it’s deemed that your company failed to maintain an environment with safe working conditions. Regular screenings assist in protecting your company from legal action, as you can identify employees that may threaten worker safety due to drug use. 

Encourages Employee Responsibility

According to the CDC, in 2019, 13% of those 12 years of age or older used illicit drugs in the past month. While many people struggling with addiction manage to turn things around, regular screening is another way to keep employees accountable who may have previously struggled with drug use.

Reduces Company Expenses

If an employee using drugs causes an accident, your company will be responsible for certain fees. Regularly testing your employees for drugs can prevent accidents — which is good for safety but also saves your company money when you don’t have to pay for the repercussions. 

Identifies Those In Need of Assistance

Regular drug testing in the workplace is a way to identify employees in need of help. Those struggling with addiction may not reach out for help immediately, but through this screening, you can pinpoint those struggling. Then employees have the opportunity to assist these employees through rehabilitative programs. 

Workplace Drug Testing Cons

Like anything, workplace drug testing comes with some drawbacks. We’ll cover a few of them below: 

Incurs an Additional Expense

Workplace drug testing costs money, so this is an obvious disadvantage. Depending on the cost of your business, the price may be significant. With many employees, this can add up quickly. 

Not Always Accurate

Drug tests can result in false positives, as some medications and even foods can show up as illicit substances. 

Violates Privacy of Employees

Your employees may feel that drug testing violates their right to privacy and find the practice invasive. A number of companies that have mandatory drug testing in the workplace have seen employee productivity and morale decrease. This isn’t always the result, but it’s important to be aware of this before opting for workplace drug testing. 

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are plenty of things to consider on both sides of the equation when it comes to deciding whether drug testing employees is the right move for your business. On the one hand, it comes at an additional cost, isn’t always accurate, and some employees may feel that it’s a violation of their privacy. 

On the other hand, your company will get to enjoy a wide range of benefits, including promoting safety, reducing company liability, encouraging employee responsibility, reducing company expenses, and identifying those in need of assistance. 

At the end of the day, it varies from one business to the next whether or not workplace drug testing is the right move. Consider the pros and cons to decide if the benefits outweigh the downsides for your company. 

If you decide that workplace drug testing is right for you, contact us at ScoutLogic for our employment drug testing service. We will be happy to assist you in maintaining a safe workplace for your employees by helping reduce the risk of accidents due to drug use in your company.

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