Drugs have become very prevalent in society with 60% of illegal world drug production being consumed in the United States. Due to the increase in drug related deaths, specifically prescription drug overdose, Houston has established a reputation being deemed one of the major hubs for drugs. This problem greatly impacts businesses in Houston and surrounding areas as many businesses are challenged in implementing measures that deter drug use among workers. Needless to say, many industries within the United States have recognized this problem among their workforce.
Protecting Your Company with a Drug Free Workplace Policy
With the growing number of workplace issues, employers have become more vulnerable to workplace risks. An employee that participates in risky behaviors such as drug abuse, places an employer in a dangerous situation. Due to increased liability, a company becomes more vulnerable to problems within the workplace.
Risks can become very costly for employers as reflected in medical insurance premiums and lawsuits. Although various strategies have assisted employers in minimizing workplace risks, employers continue to assess alternatives that will aid in being most effective. As you begin to evaluate how a drug free workplace policy could protect your organization, these top reasons will be very influential in understanding how your organization can benefit:
- Workers Compensation - Employees under the influence of drugs are more likely to incur a workplace injury which can result in workers compensation claims at the expense of the employer.
- Employee Safety - A drug free workplace policy can prevent accidents from occurring and also aids in the protection of your workforce by limiting risky behaviors during and after work hours.
- Productivity- Oftentimes, employees that partake in illegal drug use are less productive on the job. These individuals are more susceptible to making mistakes and not using sound judgment.
- Workplace Theft- Due to the high costs associated with drug habits, the company could be at risk in losing tangible assets. Implementing a drug free workplace policy can protect the company from the risks of theft of high cost items such as computers and confidential information.
- Employee Turnover - Due to poor performance, employees are more likely to quit a job or be terminated for cause. It can be very costly for an employer when there is turnover within the workplace.
- Absenteeism - Employees that use drugs have a higher absenteeism rate and are more likely to be late to work which can greatly impact their production and performance.
- Medical Costs - Oftentimes, employees that use drugs have a higher number of insurance claims which can result in an increase of medical premiums company wide.
As new issues emerge within the workplace, employers are challenged with safeguarding business operations. When a business fails to implement preventative measures, internal assets are compromised, unexpected risks can interrupt operations, and the quality of services can be impacted. In Texas, if you fire an employee for drug or alcohol use and do not have a written policy in place, the employee can claim unemployment benefits. To protect yourself from such unwarranted claims, invest in a drug free workplace using the Texas Workforce Commission's specific guidelines for drug testing in the workplace.
Investing in your workforce can be very cost effective. Not only does an effective drug free workplace policy aid in preventing drug use, it also demonstrates the company’s concern for its workforce. In fact, a drug free workplace policy allows employers the ability to protect the business by educating staff and increasing awareness of resources. Enforcing a drug free workplace policy is critical for employers in protecting the safety, health, and welfare of staff.
After all, businesses have an obligation to protect their human capital and physical assets.