The construction industry is one of the most important essential industries in the nation; construction teams create and maintain infrastructure like roads, buildings, pipelines, tunnels, overpasses. These physical structures, though we take them for granted, shape the world around us and make it a habitable place to live.
Drug Abuse is Common
Drug abuse is much more common than we care to admit in America. 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017 alone (American Addiction Centers). When we stop to consider the potential for injury in the construction sector, it becomes apparent that we may need more rigid standards and expectations.
For construction sectors in 2019 (this doesn’t take into account independent contractors or the transport of related materials), 2.8 non-fatal injuries per one hundred workers and 1,061 total fatal injuries were reported. Some of these injuries may require potentially addictive pain medication, a point that Concentra argues may be central to the ongoing drug battle within the construction industry.
Why is Drug Testing Important?
Simply put, you can significantly improve the safety of each of your workers – including the ones who don’t abuse drugs – by testing everyone. As the employer, you have the right to ask your at-will employees to submit to drug testing as part of their employment, as long as it was part of their original hiring circumstances.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that abusers don’t want to get caught abusing; if your company has a drug testing policy in place, you’ve automatically reduced the likelihood that you’re going to catch somebody clocking into their shift under the influence. Drug abuse tends to want to perpetuate itself; addiction is a crippling ailment. Your business can take a stand by implementing a testing protocol.
Construction Employers and Drug Testing
This is an industry that has the potential to struggle in the search for skilled laborers. Employers generally don’t want to toss out candidates simply because they tested positive on an initial drug screen; when a hiring company has a reliable drug-testing program in place, some sort of strike system, and the resolve to enforce the statutes, it’s unlikely that an employee will chance getting fired.
Drug Testing Equals Fewer Liability Claims
“Many businesses can save money on [workers’] compensation premiums by maintaining a drug-free workplace. Some employers may be eligible for a premium reduction through a state program. Others can save money by preventing accidents caused by impaired workers.”
– The Balance SMB
Insurance is a never-ending battle for construction companies. Your workers are your backbone, and you have to be adequately protected in the case of wrongful harm. If there’s one good reason to implement a drug-testing program at your construction business, it’s that it can save you money. You can save even more money by selecting the right type of testing company.
Why Choose On-Site Drug Testing?
It’s clear that, of all the industries that may benefit from a drug-testing program, the construction industry stands to gain the most. When considering your options for testing, there are three main questions you need to ask: where will the testing occur, who will be tested, and how often they will be tested. To maintain equality and avoid singling out any of your employees, it’s often advised that you either test every one of your workers or truly randomize your testing. Bear in mind that regularly scheduled testings are decently ineffective, due to their predictable nature.
On-Site Drug Testing vs. Clinical Drug Testing
Where should your drug-testing occur? Depending on the nature of your business or construction site, it may be better for everyone to visit the clinic near the worksite. If you are concerned at all about transportation for your workers or having them take time to travel while on the clock, this may not be your best option.
Luckily, there are businesses that can travel to your worksite and take samples whenever you need them. These services are called “on-site drug-testing” and it should come as no surprise that you can schedule the mobile service wherever your business takes its workers. This allows your workers to get tested and head directly to the worksite, with no extra travel involved.
On-site testing operations will usually test many workers in a short time span. This not only saves your workers time but it also saves you money. You can schedule a testing crew for any day, and the workers who show up to work a site that day will be tested as they arrive.
It’s obvious that the economic way to do drug-testing is to randomize everything, hire an on-site testing company, and bulk-test when possible. By following these guidelines, you can reduce your input costs for testing considerably, all while keeping your employees as safe as possible.
Unaddressed and Under-Addressed Substance Abuse Cost You
Left unchecked, employees who abuse substances (both legal and illegal) are a danger to those around them. When heavy machinery and high occupational hazard are involved, this is a recipe for disaster. When you take a stand against substance abuse, you are showing your employees that you care for their well-being.
America Drug Free
Here at America Drug Free, we know how important it is that you are able to get effective, reliable services that you can take to court. Drug testing saves lives, but it shouldn’t break the bank. By offering on-site services, we can cut costs considerably and pass those savings onto you. Don’t compromise your workers’ safety to pinch pennies with the big testing companies; work with us today.