REPOST ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.drug-aware.com/workplace-drug-testing.htm
Workplace Drug Testing is becoming increasingly common in the UK. This is due to rising public awareness of the significant problems associated with drug use in the workplace and a growing trend of larger companies pressuring their suppliers to operate a workplace drug testing policy themselves.
In the USA, well over 90% of the top 1000 companies operate some form of drug testing in the workplace – and the benefits have become abundantly clear, with marked reductions in accidents, litigation, ill health, absenteeism, reduced productivity and crime.
According to the British Crime Survey carried out by the Home Office, nearly half of all people aged between 16 and 29 have used an illegal drug in the last 12 months. 70% of substance misusers are working in full-time employment and are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident in the workplace than their substance-free colleagues.
Substance misuse is currently costing UK industry an estimated £12-16 billion every year in workplace accidents, claims for compensation, ill health, absenteeism, reduced productivity and criminal activity.
The core issue is that drug and alcohol abuse is a feature of society, and by bringing society into your workplace you are also bringing with it all of the dangers associated with substance misuse.
That’s why businesses of all types and backgrounds rely on Drug-Aware to bring them the significant benefits of a drug and alcohol free workplace.
Drug and Alcohol Policy Development and Workplace Drug Testing
When it comes to workplace drug testing, we have the advantage of being able to offer all kinds of employers everything they need from start to finish.
Some companies ask us to take care of the entire process for them – which involves writing their drug and alcohol policy, training their managers, and attending their premises to collect samples from their employees – all the way through to offering medical review services and organising any rehabilitation.
In most cases, companies ask us to review their current substance misuse policy to make sure that it is completely legally defensible and to advise them on how to make it run more smoothly, followed by drug and alcohol awareness training for their managers.
In our drug awareness training courses we discuss the extent of the problem, how to spot the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, information on the drugs themselves, your legal obligations, how to facilitate your company policy, and detailed “chain of custody” workplace drug testing procedures should you require them to undertake any testing.
Whether the best option for your managers is a full day, half day or 2 hour sessions, the training is very comprehensive and your satisfaction is guaranteed.
Our trainers are very experienced and knowledgeable. Our Technical Director, Christopher Evans has trained staff from over 70 UK HM Prisons, several Police Forces, and well over a hundred NHS hospitals, drug treatment centres, GP surgeries, etc. Not to mention the literally thousands of delegates from all industry sectors who have attended our training seminars on drug awareness, policy development and workplace testing.
How to get started in your workplace
Workplace drug testing is surprisingly straight forward to set up, and can be very cost effective. You can test your employees for both drugs and alcohol for an average of less than £10 per person whilst still maintaining full chain of custody so that the test results can be fully relied upon in court.
We recommend workplace drug testing in accident or incident situations, or when you have a reasonable suspicion that an employee is possibly unfit for their duties. This means testing when you have a known problem and substance misuse could be a factor – and under health and safety at work legislation, you cannot simply ignore it.
Random drug testing of employees is above and beyond this basic requirement in the workplace, so it is up to you (and the nature of your industry) to decide whether this element of testing is necessary.