Maintaining a safe working environment is of the utmost importance for any business. An unsafe environment can not only affect the workforce, it can affect the public and have an impact on a company’s reputation.
The influence of drugs and alcohol pose huge safety risks for any business. The slightest lapse in attention or focus could cause serious consequences, particularly in safety-critical work environments involving heavy machinery or vehicles. According to the Health and Safety Executive, the construction industry, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing, accounts for the greatest number of fatalities in the UK . In such a dangerous, accident-heavy environment, it’s shocking that a survey carried out by the Considerate Constructors Scheme revealed 35% of workers in the sector have witnessed colleagues under the influence while on the job . Of the survey responders, 59% have concerns about drugs and alcohol usage within the industry.
In addition, a MoneySuperMarket report from 2016 stated that 7 out of the 10 professions with the highest drink or drug driving rates were part of the building trade.
Benefits of random drug testing
The possible signs that someone is misusing drugs and/or alcohol at work include over-anxiousness, aggressive or abnormally pushy behaviour, lack of motivation, poor time-keeping and an unkempt appearance.
However, the only way to determine conclusively whether drugs and/or alcohol are in someone’s system is by random drug and alcohol testing. It is also an ideal way to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment. Routine testing has been shown to reduce accidents, absenteeism and litigation, which can all impact on business productivity. It can also save a business money in lost revenue and help safeguard health and safety measures.
Random drug and alcohol testing can be undertaken with short or no notice, and exactly who is to be tested will be unknown by the workforce. As such, random testing greatly reduces the chances of substance-abusing employees using tactics to avoid a test, or change their habits in time to escape a positive result during the testing detection time.
Random drug testing can focus equally on all personnel within a company, including site and office-based employees as well as operatives. It is crucial that the testing is performed legally and accurately by a professional testing company that is fully certified and accredited. AlphaBiolabs can send specialised sample collectors to visit a business premises, carry out testing, as well as provide confirmation testing back at the laboratory if needed. The laboratory confirmation results can be provided as fast as same day, which helps with business continuation, a reduction in wasted salary costs and less anxiety for the individual involved.
Training can also be provided for nominated employees to take sample collections as and when needed on site.