Helping to Keep Workplaces and the Public Safe

Substance abuse can be a very serious problem, particularly if the abuser’s habits have a negative impact on other people. This is especially true of the workplace. Alcohol or drug abuse can negatively impact any number of coworkers and if that employee deals with the public, this risk can also spill over into that arena.

The risks become even more pronounced if the person in question is using a form of machinery that requires optimal reflexes and attention. If the worker loses control of that machinery, such as a truck or forklift, injury and even death can result. This can also lead to serious liability issues and reputation damage for the organization.

In order to help prevent this possible occurrence, some companies have decided that a mandatory pre-employment drug screen be in place as a condition of employment. Drug testing by an employer can be controversial; some fiercely object because they feel it is a distinct violation of their personal rights and privacy. However, others recognize the importance of ensuring that workers are responsible and not suffering from vices that could prove destructive to themselves and others.

If you have trouble imagining this yourself, here is a scenario that might help:

Leon is a truck driver who likes to smoke pot during his breaks. He drives a supply truck for a large brewery. While transporting a load to another city, Leon takes a break and has a joint. Unbeknownst to him, the THC level in this particular marijuana is much higher than usual. This leaves him unable to concentrate and he loses control the truck while driving. The result is an accident that leaves two members of the public dead and the truck totaled. All of this because of a habit that could have been caught using a drug detection test before Leon was hired.

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