[BLOG] How Random Alcohol and Drug Testing Programs Reduce Workplace Accidents and Heighten Productivity

December 8, 2016

[AYR, ON] – There has been much controversy over the years stemming from random alcohol and drug testing in the workplace. Workers have questioned whether such tests violate their personal freedom, while businesses expressed concern that impaired employees affected both the company’s efficiency and the safety of their co-workers.

Creating a balance between these two stances that sits well with everyone is tricky. However, increasing evidence points to the fact that these tests are indeed necessary to ensure that a workplace fulfills both the company’s mandate and protects workers from on-the-job hazards. According to a survey by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, addiction has an extremely detrimental effect on society, with the costs running into billions of dollars.

Persons identified as having a substance abuse issue can feel like they are the victim of a witch hunt. This however, is not the goal of a random program. The goal is to provide assistance to those who need it, while simultaneously improving the safety in the workplace. In fact, implementing a random program often results in those that have substance abuse problems coming forward. This in turn is often the catalyst that convinces the individual to seek out the professional treatment they need.

Here are some of the other benefits that alcohol and drug testing programs offer employers.

Improves Safety

Someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs is more likely to injure themselves because of their impaired perception. This can be through something as simple as tripping and falling, or possibly gravely injuring themselves while using machinery. Such accidents can sometimes even impact employees working in the vicinity.

There is also a possible safety threat to the public. For example, if the person drives a transport truck and often performs this duty under the influence, there is the potential for significant loss of life in the case of an accident.

Improves Productivity

Persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs might feel that the substance enhances their performance (particularly stimulants, like amphetamines), but that is rarely ever the case. Their work is actually more likely to contain errors and overall job performance also tends to suffer. Those with an ongoing substance abuse issue are also more likely to call in sick.

Even those who only indulge in their habits outside the workplace can impact a company. Showing up for work hungover, for example, still means that you are distracted by the physical effects of alcohol or drugs. That person may be able to walk a straight line, but are still mentally cloudy and not at their best.

Improves Employee Relations

An efficient team is one that feels everyone is doing their share. Workers under the influence often fall short of their responsibilities, and that can create tension in the workplace. Certain substances can also cause individuals to engage in inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual harassment, and be less observant of workplace rules regarding procedure and confidentiality. If the addiction is an expensive narcotic, the person may resort to stealing from the company, either through the taking of physical objects or embezzlement.

Thanks to our experienced team of in-house physicians and medical review officers, DriverCheck has earned the trust of many employers. With more than 1,000 locations coast-to-coast, DriverCheck is Canada’s largest testing provider. We pride ourselves on minimizing wait times and a strict adherence to privacy and confidentiality procedures. Contact Driver Check now and learn more about how we can help you protect the health and safety of your company.

We hope you enjoyed this article. Have comments or questions? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.