Drug Testing in the Workplace Essay

2964 Words Oct 28th, 2007 12 Pages
Drug Testing in the Workplace

Throughout recent years, applicant drug testing has become one of the most prevalently used strategies by many organizations to control substance abuse in the workplace. Drug testing is a selection tool used by organizations to determine whether or not an individual has previously used drugs and/or alcohol. Most employers find that drug testing, if done correctly, is a worthwhile investment associated with increased workplace safety, lower absenteeism, fewer on-the-job accidents, improved productivity, lower theft rates, and less medical and workers' compensation expenses (Grondin 142). By identifying and screening out substance abusers, organizations believe that they are also screening out those
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Workplace drug testing has become a growing trend throughout organizations in the United States. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), 67 percent of U.S. corporations have drug-testing policies. Also, approximately 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies have implemented drug-testing policies, according to the Institute for a Drugfree Workplace (Cadrain 42). These statistics clearly demonstrate the importance to employers of maintaining a drug-free workplace. Furthermore, research indicates that organizations tend to differ in the way they implement their trust drug-testing policies according to company size, industry type, and occupation. Research demonstrates that there is a strong, positive relationship between the size of a company and the prevalence of a drug-testing policy (Hartwell et al. 36). In other words, large firms are more likely to use a drug-testing policy than small firms. Additionally, the prevalence of drug-testing policies tends to differ by industry type. For example, employers in the transportation and nuclear power industries are required by federal law to conduct drug testing for all their
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