According to a study conducted by Quest Diagnostics, drug use among American employees is at a 14-year high, standing at 4.4 percent, as measured by the percentage of employees who tested positive in urine drug tests. This same study states that only 1.47% of companies have required drug testing policies.
Drug testing is an essential part of maintaining a safe and productive workplace. Employers are legally required to conduct drug testing in certain industries, such as transportation, construction, and healthcare. In this article, we will provide an overview of the industries that require drug testing and the drug testing process adopted in these industries.
Drug testing in the US started with urinalysis in the late 1960s and early 70s by the Department of Defence (DOD) for military personnel returning from Vietnam due to the occurrence of many aircraft accidents. The US navy implemented regular drug testing in 1982 and since then private companies and other public Sectors have also adopted this strategy to keep the workplace clean and productive.
The followings are the Industries that mandate drug testing:
Drug testing in the transportation industry is regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT). This includes truck drivers, bus drivers, and pilots, among others. According to the 2022 report by FMCSA, Over 9000 violations of failure to conduct a pre-employment drug test were recorded in 2022. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees follow DOT regulations, and failure to do so can result in serious consequences such as fines, penalties, and even termination.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) adopted the drug testing program in 1989 for aviation, rail, mass transit, pipelines, and trucking. Individuals who work in safety-sensitive positions in the transportation industry are required to submit to DOT-regulated drug testing. Pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and return-to-duty testing are all part of the drug testing process. DOT has also established minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies for 2023. The goal of DOT-mandated drug testing is to prevent accidents and injuries caused by impaired individuals working in safety-sensitive positions, as well as to keep the transportation system safe and efficient. Lab-based testing is required by DOT testing programs.
One of the industries that require drug testing is healthcare. Drug testing is essential in the healthcare industry and it is regulated by FDA and SAMSHA. It can help identify healthcare professionals who may be struggling with substance abuse and allow for early intervention and treatment.
According to the American addiction center, 5.5% of medical professionals use illicit drugs in the US and about 4.4% are heavy alcohol drinkers. This drug abuse and alcohol consumption lead to a botched surgery, missing vital signs, and make errors in dose calculation and administration. According to a study published by USA Today, several cases of disease outbreaks such as Hepatitis, have been reported as a result of drug abuse by healthcare providers. Healthcare professionals, such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and technicians, must submit to drug testing during the hiring process and may be subject to random testing throughout their careers. Furthermore, after an accident or if there is a reasonable suspicion of drug use, healthcare facilities may conduct drug testing. The drugs tested in healthcare settings may vary, but they typically include controlled substances, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs.
Unfortunately, the construction industry is one of the top industries for drug and alcohol abuse. Opioids account for 20% of total prescription drug spending in the construction industry, which is higher than in any other industry. According to the US Department of Labor, around 15% of construction workers use illicit drugs at work leading to risks of accidents and severe damage. The study also found that within two years of implementing drug-testing programs, companies saw a 51% reduction in incident rates.
To safeguard the safety of employees and the general public, drug testing in the construction business is a required precaution. Drug tests may be administered before employment, after an accident, and at random. Marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and amphetamines all are among the drugs that are tested for. By promoting a drug-free workplace, construction companies can maintain a safe work environment and reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, which is critical in this industry.
Workers in safety and security-sensitive industries handle hazardous materials, operate heavy machinery, or perform life-saving procedures. Nuclear power plants, oil and gas production, the US coast guard, and firefighting are all examples of safety and security-sensitive industries. The US Department of Defense also mandates regular drug testing as part of its drug-free workplace policy and has its own set of guidelines as well. Employers in these industries are required to conduct drug testing to ensure that their employees are not impaired while on the job. Depending on the setting and responsible agency, lab-based testing may be required.
To ensure the safety of workers and the general public, these industries are regulated by strict regulations and guidelines provided by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Employees in these industries may be subjected to regular drug and alcohol testing, background checks, and safety training to ensure that they are fit for duty. Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees follow these regulations and can perform their job duties safely.
Apart from industries that require drug testing, other businesses also adopt drug testing policies to keep the work environment safe and productive. According to the National Safety Council, 80% of those injured in serious drug-related workplace accidents are sober coworkers. Employees who use drugs are 3.5 times more likely than other workers to be involved in a workplace accident.
According to a recent study, companies that have implemented workplace drug testing programs have lower insurance claim rates. According to this study, these companies saved an average of $2.6 million per year on their insurance premiums. In addition, companies with effective workplace drug testing programs had 43% fewer accidents. Overall regular drug testing at the workplace brings many benefits such as:
- Increased Productivity
- Improved Safety
- Reduced Absenteeism
- Improved Reputation
- Decreased loss in damages
The drug testing process begins with the selection of a drug test kit. DrugTestKitUSA offers a range of drug test kits, including urine drug tests and saliva drug tests. Once a test kit has been selected, the employee provides a sample, which is then tested using a drug test kit and then sent to a laboratory for further analysis if needed.
Types of drug tests include urine drug tests, saliva drug tests, blood analysis, sweat analysis, and less commonly used hair drug tests. Urine drug tests are the most commonly used, while saliva drug tests are becoming more popular due to their convenience and ease of use. Hair drug tests provide a longer detection window but are more expensive and less commonly used.
In conclusion, drug testing is an important aspect of maintaining a safe and productive workplace. Employers in certain industries, including transportation, healthcare, safety-sensitive industries, and construction, are required to conduct drug testing and are regulated by SAMSHA guidelines. These specific guidelines and requirements should be reviewed closely to ensure compliance. Other businesses and companies can also implement a drug-free workplace policy to improve workplace safety and productivity.
DrugTestKitUSA offers a range of drug test kits to help employers comply with their drug testing obligations. They provide drug test kits that are fast, easy to use, and have an accuracy of up to 99%. Whether you are a business owner or an employee, it is important to understand the drug testing requirements and processes to ensure a drug-free workplace.
DrugTestKitUSA provides drug test kits to businesses to establish safer and clean work environments. In addition to drug test kits, they also provide COVID-19 antigen test kits.