Is your company preventing accidents before they happen through substance abuse programs? Studies have shown that by implementing drug testing and training programs you can significantly lower your Workers Compensation Experience Modification Factor (“Ex Mod”).
The use of drugs and alcohol at work can have devastating effects on your operations and increases the chance of injury. If your company does not have a policy regarding alcohol and substance abuse you may be paying more for workers compensation insurance than you need to. Your Ex Mod Factor may be negatively affected as well.
When employees are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work they are more likely to be severely injured and as a result may have to take time off. Your insurance premiums may rise and loss of productivity or added expenses for training replacement employees will cost you more in the long run than implementing a drug testing and training policy.
Training and education programs have proven successful for many businesses in deterring employee drug and alcohol use and therefore lowering Ex Mod Factors.
If you think drug and alcohol testing and training may be beneficial to your company, implement a written policy. The policy will determine when and how you will conduct drug and alcohol tests, whether it is before employment, after an accident, after suspicious behavior, randomly, or all of the above. Also, address that all employees will be subject to drug tests so as to not discriminate against a single group of employees, which is illegal. It is important to inform your employees, in writing, that refusal to take a drug screen will result in a presumption that the test would have been positive.
After your employees are aware of this new policy, be fair and consistent in your enforcement of drug tests and training. Studies show that frequent, educational drug resistance training is more effective than a once-a-year class. These training sessions don’t have to be long and strenuous, but they should inform employees about the dangers of working while impaired and encourage those with drug or alcohol problems to seek help.
If you are concerned that your employees are using drugs or alcohol while working, or are just interested in implementing a testing and training program, be sure to talk to a Flanders Group representative. We can help you implement a testing procedure, provide training materials, and help you decrease your Ex Mod Factor.
Keep your workplace safe and drug free, for more information on a drug free workplaces visit www.dol.gov/elaws/drugfree.htm