Drug and Alcohol Testing in Construction –
In the past two decades, workplace drug testing and drug-free workplace programs have grown significantly. A major driving force for this increase is the requirements for employees in the nuclear, petrochemical, offshore and transportation sectors to be tested prior to employment and under various circumstances throughout their employment. A natural progression from drug testing employees in these industries is the testing of construction workers, most of whom work in safety critical areas.
Drug & alcohol testing reduces workplace injuries
Construction companies that test for drugs appear to have a reduction of workplace injuries, according to the US study:
–Evaluation of Drug Testing in the Workplace: Study of the Construction Industry (Gerber and Yacoubian 2001).
The study examined the effectiveness of drug testing construction workers in making the workplace safer. It found:
Construction has a high percentage of problem drinkers
The use of alcohol and other substances while at the work site greatly influences a persons ability to perform safely
There is an increase in the likelihood for work site accidents and injury
The implementation of a drug free workplace program directly influences a reduction in injury incident rates
The American construction companies in the study experienced a 51% reduction in injury rates within two years of implementing a drug testing program
The companies experienced an 11.41 percent reduction in employees compensation payouts
Firms that did not drug test experienced no decline
Drug testing is most effective in reducing accidents in the first three years immediately following the implementation of a program
The number one reason why employers in the construction industry drug test their employees and job applicants is to promote the safety of their workers and clients.
The was also a consensus that drug testing contributed positively to a company’s image and was an effective deterrent in preventing drug abuse