As you begin a new year, increased safety and higher profits are most likely on your business agenda. That means implementing a drug-free work policy. As you begin to draft better drug and alcohol testing protocols for your business, there are several things to consider, starting with the benefits and the return on your investment. There are many other factors to consider besides, but it pays to remember that improving workplace safety almost always leads to higher profits. Here are some other important considerations to review as you draft and execute a new and improved drug-free work policy…
While this drug has received much controversy over the years, the debate is still playing out as it pertains to state laws. Some states allow for medicinal use of the drug, while others even allow for its recreational use. It is important to know the state laws under which you are testing, as well as federal industry-related laws that take precedence over general state laws.
“Texas’s Compassionate Use Program (CUP) allows certain physicians to prescribe low tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) cannabis for medical purposes.”
While the state of Texas does allow for certain types of medical marijuanna use, those allowances are limited to low-THC medical cannabis extract (CBD) containing no more than 0.5% THC and must be obtained through a physicians’ prescription. THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol and refers to the primary psychoactive component that produces the “high” when using marijianna. Just because marijanna might be legal in some instances or within certain states, does not make it safe for use during working hours. Employees who work impaired put everyone at risk.
A study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that “55% more industrial accidents, 85% more injuries, and 75% greater absenteeism among employees who tested positive for marijuana compared to those who tested negative.”
What does legalized marijianna mean for your industry?
If you work in an industry that must remain compliant with the Department of Transportation, there is no allowance for marijianna use, whether it be recreational or medicinal, legal or not. Workplace Safety Screenings is here to walk alongside your business to help you navigate these changes in drug laws and to make sure that your employees meet DOT compliance requirements with upfront employee drug policies and training. In addition we will assist you in maintainIng compliance through on-going, on-site testing and employee assistance programs that demonstrate your commitment to all federal regulations should your businesses be audited by DOT.
“The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation does not authorize “medical marijuana” under a state law to be a valid medical explanation for a transportation employee’s positive drug test result.”
Is That a Government Contract?
Even when your business is not subject to regulations regarding the Department of Transportation, if your business has contracts with the federal government, drug-free policies are still required. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency.
Private Businesses Beware
If your only business with the federal government is paying your annual taxes, you might mistakenly believe that drug testing programs aren’t necessary. The statistics don’t lie. Most drug users are employed and drug abuse is responsible for low productivity, accidents, theft and absenteeism ---all of which takes a big bite out of your bottom line.
80% of substance abusers steal from their employer to support their habit.
In fact, research tells us that a bad hire can cost your business between seven to ten thousand dollars in the first 90 days of employment. Isn’t it worth it to eliminate employees who are likely to cause financial loss to your business before you hire?
If you’re ready to get started with a new drug-free work policy and testing program, Workplace Safety Screenings can walk you through all of your options. There are many types of testing available, depending on your needs. We use a comprehensive and “best practices” approach, customizable for your unique business.