Drug testing in Brisbane and Queensland workplaces is growing, with many businesses understanding the importance it can play in ensuring employees are fit to be on the job. However, there are still many businesses that don’t conduct drug testing, so if your Queensland workplace is one of them you should be asking yourself why.
Three of the most common ‘excuses’ we hear at Integrity Sampling are that drug testing is expensive, my business doesn’t have the time and my employees don’t have issues with drugs. Let’s take a look at these reasons more closely:
Drug testing is expensive and takes too much time
The perceived cost of drug testing keeps some Queensland businesses from even considering it. And, of course, there is a cost in time as well.
For example, to conduct drug testing you should also develop a drug and alcohol policy, educate employees about the policy andthe risks of drugs and alcohol and provide support for employees with drug issues. This does take resources, and it does take time and represents a significant cost to any business.
However, you also need to consider the advantages of implementing drug testing in your Queensland business. It’s estimated that Australian businesses forks out about $6 billion each year due to lost productivity and absenteeism caused by drugs and alcohol.
How much are issues relating to drugs and alcohol costing your business and how much time are these issues taking to manage? How much time and cost could you save if you reduced absenteeism by even as little as 10%? How much time and cost could you save if you prevented one workplace injury? With an injury costing around $116,000 each on average, it’s easy to see why drug testing, as part of an overall drug and alcohol management policy, can soon pay dividends.
My workplace doesn’t have an issue with drugs
Unfortunately, this type of thinking is akin to sticking your head in the sand.
The statistics tell us, for example, that:
• Around 10% of people have used cannabis in the past 12 months. The rates for cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamines are 2%, 2.5% and 2.1% respectively.
• ICE use is even more concerning. While its usage isn’t high, due to the insidious nature of the drug the effects it is having on workplaces, on our roads and in our communities is significant.
• Approximately 2% of people have admitted to going to work under the influence of drugs. So, for the average workforce of 200, there will be 4 people who have gone to work affected by drugs.
• Worldwide, it’s estimated that drugs or alcohol play a part in approximately 15% of work-related injuries.
• On our roads, including in Queensland, drugs are becoming a greater issue than alcohol. The ratio of positive drug tests are easily outstripping the ratio of positive alcohol tests.
What this tells us is that given the widespread use and abuse of drugs, any reasonable size workforce will have employees who have a drug issue.
Note: Integrity Sampling conducts drug testing Brisbane, as well as the regional Queensland locations of Cairns, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville and Winton. The company has more than 30 locations throughout Australia.