Drug Tests Common in Workplace

August 29, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Workplace drug testing is becoming standard procedure, a recent survey reveals.

Of the 364 human resource professionals who responded to the survey by KnowledgePoint:

  • almost two thirds said their firms are already conducting such tests
  • just over a quarter said they plan to do so in the future.

Asked to name the most important benefits of increased drug testing:

  • a higher quality of job applicants was listed by 68% 
  • reduced drug use among employees was mentioned by 54%
  • reduced workplace accidents was cited by 48%
  • 38% listed improved attendance.

Saying No to Drug Testing

Of the 38% who do not conduct testing, the chief reasons given were:

  • no need within the industry
  • inconsistent with company culture.

Respondents were also asked to list the disadvantages of drug testing in the workplace:

  • the high cost was listed by 42%
  • over a third cited fewer job applicants.

Interestingly, 89% said that fewer than 10% of candidates turn down a job offer rather than submit to pre-employment drug testing, while the remainder felt it was between 10% and 20% of candidates.

The survey found that the industries most likely to test were transportation, government, manufacturing and health care, while companies least likely to test were found in  education, finance and technology, and non-profit organizations.