Health and safety laws dictate that responsible employers must take appropriate measures if they suspect that members of staff may be unfit to work due to drugs or alcohol misuse. At this time of year, more employers are noticing their employees coming in to work a little worse for wear. They may have over indulged in festive cheer, which can have major health and safety repercussions.  

The value of random drug testing is that it can act as a deterrent to employees overusing or misusing drugs and alcohol. In this way, it encourages a safer working environment.

1. Promotes workplace health and safety

It is undeniable that employees who use or abuse drugs pose a safety risk in the workplace. This is especially true for safety-critical jobs, such as driving, operating heavy machinery and handling hazardous chemicals. If an employee were to work in these sectors whilst under the influence, the risks of a workplace accident are significantly increased.

One of the advantages of random testing is that no-one knows in advance who is to be tested and when; and therefore – to avoid apositive result – employees wishing to remain in employment will refrain from substance misuse. In addition, random testing shows how committed an employer is to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. That elevates an employer’s reputation – not only in the eyes of the workforce – but of other organisations and the general public as well.

2. Reduces potential legal liability

Regardless of the industry, any workplace accident can lead to significant losses, injuries and even deaths (staff or member of the public). When such an accidenthappens, it’s going to expose any company to a whole array of liabilities and negative press.

If a workplace accident occurs because of failure on the part of the employer to maintain a safe working environment, the business could potentially face legal liability. Without a valid drug testing policy, and subsequently regular drug testing programmes, there is no way for an employer to positively identify staff members who pose a risk to everyone in the workplace with their substance abuse.

3. Helps employees with drug problems

Depending on a company’s drug and alcohol policy, an employee who fails a drug test may face immediate dismissal. However, some companies look on this scenario as an opportunity to help find the root cause and give their workers a second chance. Financial pressures and excessive workloads are key factors in substance abuse by employees, with more and more high-performing, fully functioning employees harbouring secret addictions. Training for managers could help them recognise the signs of substance misuse, and inform them what to do if they suspect an employee is misusing drugs and/or alcohol. This could involve helping them get into recovery or rehabilitation programmes. This way, employees get a chance to get clean and be free from drug abuse, and the employers can keep their experienced worker without the hassle of having to hire and train new staff.

4. Leads to better productivity

As discussed, random drug testing leads to reduced accidents, which equates to a safe working environment. This in itself can motivate employees to become more productive, knowing that their employers are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe while at work.

Companies with a comprehensive workplace drug testing programme have consistently reported an overall improvement in job performance as well as employee morale. Accident rates drop, as well as absenteeism, tardiness, employee theft, fraud and behavioural problems.

5. Decreases employee turnover

Employees who abuse drugs are more likely to change jobs often. In addition, a knock-on effect of workplace drug use is that low morale and an unsafe environment will see the best-performing workers leave. A high employee turnover will mean more money and time needs to be spent on recruiting new workers to replace them. A drug testing programme can see employee turnover rates drop.

6. Improves staff morale

When employees see that a drug testing programme is being strictly implemented, it impresses upon them how committed their employer is to providing a safe working environment for everyone. This increases staff morale and reduces potential workplace conflict. With the implementation of a random drug testing programme, the organisation will be able to pinpoint and deal with drug abusing employees before any incidents of conflict and violence ever take place.

As seen from these six main reasons, random workplace drug testing represents an employer’s efforts to keep the environment at work safe for everyone. It can help minimise workplace accidents, which in turn reduces legal liability; lead to better productivity; retain good staff; improve workplace morale; and aid the recovery of addicted employees. For a consultation with no obligation, or information on any of our workplace testing services, call us on 0333 600 1300, email at, or visit our website at