As companies feel the pinch caused by a sputtering economy, some may be tempted to discontinue or reduce drug testing in an effort to save money. The problem with this is that during times of national turmoil substance abuse tends to increase, and so do its side effects like absenteeism and workplace accidents.
One viable solution to this problem is random drug testing. Random testing helps employers identify individuals who have a substance abuse problem while at the same time deterring others from using drugs. Best of all, the return on your random testing investment can be significant. The average substance abusing employee costs the employer an extra $7,000 per year according to a U.S. Navy study. The national average of the work force with a substance abuse problem is between 10-15%, but for arguments sake let’s say that it’s only 5% at your company. If you employ 500 workers then you have at least 25 substance abusers on your payroll, and they cost your company approximately $175,000 per year in lost productivity.
Now compare that to the cost of your random drug testing program. At a random testing frequency rate of 20% per year, and at cost of $55 per test, you will spend $5,500 for random testing. If 5% of your random tests turn out positive then you have identified five substance abusers that would have otherwise cost you $35,000 per year. At a cost of just $5,500, you’ve just saved nearly $30,000. And that doesn’t take into account what you will save from deterring others from using drugs.
Random drug testing is one of the smartest investments a company can make, especially in economically challenging times. You will spend a little more upfront but you will save a lot more on the back end and that
savings will drop straight to your better-looking bottom line. Guest contributor Bill Current.
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