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4 Reasons to Drug Screen Prospective Employees

When screening job applicants, it's important to collect relevant information while still respecting a candidate's privacy. In a world of increasingly liberal drug policies, some organizations may second-guess testing for certain substances. There are several instances, however, where a person's drug use could severely affect his or her ability to perform a job. Here are four reasons to perform drug screening during initial employment applications:

1. Industry Requirements

Some businesses don't have a choice of whether or not to make drug screenings part of job interviews. Industries such as transportation, healthcare and education may require organizations to test for drug use to protect local populations. For example, the Substance Abuse Program Administrators Association described how the transportation industry's been required to utilize drug screenings since 1991, due to the passing of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act.

Even with these regulations in place, many companies still miss problematic candidates. SAPAA shared government research that found more than 15 percent of truck drivers may use drugs. Companies in regulated industries need to make sure their solutions match expectations dictated by governing bodies and are flexible enough to adjust when rules change.

2. Increasing Safety

Using drugs while performing tasks is dangerous in a variety of situations. Not only is the inebriated employee at risk, but they could harm others if they operate heavy equipment or work with hazardous substances. The National Safety Council said many employers should screen for drugs and make sure they are honest about the dangers abuse or use on the job could create.

People can make poor decisions while on drugs and in the pursuit of illegal substances. The Denver Post reported on a lab tech who switched out syringes in a hospital to steal fentanyl. The action exposed thousands of patients in the hospital to HIV and Hepatitis C. The most distressing aspect of this story is the employee had a history of similar crimes at other hospitals that the health organization failed to detect during employment screening.

3. Saving Money

Mistakes can be dangerous, but even when they don't harm people, they may hurt an organization. The Fix shared information collected by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse that found drug abuse costs U.S. companies $81 billion annually.

These financial losses are caused by a variety of reasons that stem from drug use and abuse. When employees come to work inebriated, it negatively affects their performance. Drug use is often associated with constantly switching jobs, missing work and generally losing productivity. During severe cases, theft is not uncommon.

4. Improving Public Perceptions

While some of the public would like organizations to be more lenient on certain forms of drug use, there is also a substantial percentage of the population that demands responsibility from businesses. Demand Media reported some communities want local companies to screen their people to ensure quality of service.

Companies can take part in local efforts to eliminate drug use. Organizations can support drug rehabilitation programs or provide second chances for ex-users. By partnering with a dependable screening service, companies can help staff and communities stay safe and healthy.

OPENonline provides optimal testing procedures, consistent data communication and excellent service for companies that want to benefit from drug screening processes. For more information, please visit our website.

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