Essay on Drug Testing in the Workplace

2971 Words Oct 15th, 2007 12 Pages
Drug Testing in the Workplace

Throughout recent years, applicant drug testing has become one of the most prevalently used strategies by many organizations to control substance abuse in the workplace. Drug testing is a selection tool used by organizations to determine whether or not an individual has previously used drugs and/or alcohol. Most employers find that drug testing, if done correctly, is a worthwhile investment associated with increased workplace safety, lower absenteeism, fewer on-the-job accidents, improved productivity, lower theft rates, and less medical and workers' compensation expenses (Grondin 142). By identifying and screening out substance abusers, organizations believe that they are also screening out those
…show more content…
Additional studies have indicated that drug testing is more likely to be used in the manufacturing, construction, government, and pharmaceutical industries and less likely to be used in service, financial, insurance, and real estate industries (Comer and Buda 134). Illustrating such contrasting industry propensities, the American Management Association reported the following percentages in their 2001 survey of companies on workplace surveillance and medical testing:
Companies Which Drug Test Employees
Business Category Testing of New Hires Testing of All Employees
Financial Services 35.8% 18.8%
Business & Professional Services 36.0% 18.4%
Other Services 60.3% 34.7%
Wholesale & Retail 63.0% 36.8%
Manufacturing 78.5% 42.2%

As the table above shows, the manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and other services industries have the highest prevalence of drug testing, compared with business, professional, and financial services industries, which have the lowest (American Management Association 1). Overall, research indicates that high-risk industries whose employees hold safety-sensitive positions are more likely to employ a drug-testing policy (Heneman and Judge 460). Additional surveys indicate that drug testing is more common among organizations where employers perceive their employees' drug use to be high (Comer and Buda 135). This may explain why drug testing is more common among

Related Documents