• Pros and Cons of Alcohol Testing at The Workplace


    • Reduced Costs: According to figures from SAMHSA, as much $134 billion is wasted by those who abuse alcohol each year. Conducting alcohol testing and maintaining an alcohol policy reduces the amount of wasted money by removing the problem.
    • Less Sick Leave and Workman’s Compensation Claims: As many as 7% of employees in the U.S. drink while on the job. Many more are affected by hangovers and alcohol use before work this causes there to be more accidents while these employees are working and more sick days called in when they stay home. Both of these things cost an employer far more than should be necessary. Alcohol testing reduces the affects of
    • Fewer on the Job Problems: More than half of the problems that arise at work are caused by heavy drinkers and as much as 87% of those problems are caused by light and moderate drinkers dealing with hangovers. With fewer distractions there will be less mistakes.
    • Alcohol Testing is Inexpensive and Easy to Conduct:  There are fewer overall costs involved with alcohol testing and it can be customized to suit the needs of the employer and those the company hires. While breath and saliva alcohol tests are more common, there are also infrared devices that can do the same level of testing without the messy and invasive aspect of collecting bodily fluids.
    • Helps in Hiring Process: Alcohol testing is a smart way of evaluating potential employees and it can help prevent having problems on the job.
    • State Backing in Workman’s Comp Cases: Most states actually encourage employers to conduct alcohol testing in relation to workman’s comp cases and allow these companies to deny compensation to employees who test positive for alcohol consumption.
    • Fewer Employees Who Still Abuse Alcohol: With the addition of a consistent alcohol testing program there will be fewer incidents that involve alcohol related problems. Employees who are currently abusing the substance will feel more compelled to abstain to avoid having consequences at their job.

    Cons of Workplace Alcohol Testing:

    • Alcohol Consumption is Legal: This can leave an employer wondering if they’ll face more confrontation than they’d like to from their employees because alcohol use is generally condoned and socially accepted.

    • ADA Regulations Can Seem a Deterrent: There are currently some policies that protect employees and this can make it difficult to hold these alcohol abusing employees to the same rules as other employees. It is certainly worth noting that the ADA has no prohibitive regulations against alcohol testing however.
    • Limited Testing Programs are More Common: Most companies stick to testing for alcohol only when there’s reasonable suspicion or when an accident has occurred and testing is required under federal mandates. Many companies are reluctant to expand on the frequency of testing.
    • Added Cost: Many employers feel that any additional cost to the company will be prohibitive and limit their business. They do not buy into the view that while a new alcohol testing program will require some funding, it will save them in the long run.

    Categories: Alcohol & Alcohol Testing

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