Drug Abusing Employees Put Your Business at Risk

Business Man Snorting CocaineMany business owners don’t recognize the risks associated with having drug abusers on their payroll. So, they figure “Whatever my employees do on their own time is their business.  Therefore, it has no effect on my business”. However, research tells the opposite story. Fact is, drug abusing employees put your business at risk. Here are 5 examples.

A Third Less Productive:Productivity

Research shows that, on average, drug abusing employees cost employers a lot of money in lost productivity. According to The Institute for a Drug Free Workplace, Washington , D.C., drug abusing employees are only 67% as productive as those who do not abuse drugs. So, for every $100,000 of wages you pay out to drug abusing employees, you are only getting back $67,000 worth of productivity.

3.6 Times More Likely Workplace Accident:Wheelchair

Workplace accidents can be extremely expensive. In fact, they can even cause the loss of a business altogether. In 2004, OSHA estimated the direct costs of the average workplace accident to be $28,000. Estimates of indirect costs increase that number anywhere from two to tenfold. Drug abusing employees are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in workplace accidents. (National Institute on Drug Abuse study by Thomas E. Baker).

Higher absenteeism and turnover:

Business owners are painfully aware of the direct and indirect costs of absenteeism and turnover. Full-time workers age 18-49 who reported current illicit drug use were more likely than those reporting no Firedcurrent illicit drug use to state that they had worked for three or more employers in the past year (32.1% versus 17.9%).  Also, they take more unexcused absences from work in the past month (12.1% versus 6.1%).  Further, more have voluntarily left an employer in the past year (25.8 % versus 13.6%).  And finally, more have been fired by an employer in the past year (4.6% versus 1.4%).

Similar results were reported for employees who were heavy alcohol users. (“An Analysis of Worker Drug Use and Workplace Policies and Programs, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, DHHS. Rockville, MD.)

5 Times More Likely To File A Worker’s Comp Claimlawsuit

The average Worker’s Compensation claim cost $44,000 in 2014 according to the WCIRB report. Drug abusing employees are 5 times more likely to file a Worker’s Compensation claim. (National Institute on Drug Abuse study by Thomas E. Baker)

80% Steal From Workplaces:Thief

Research has shown that that 80% of drug abusers support their habits by theft in the workplace. (Reaves, James J., Drug Crimes in the Workplace: A Survey of Drug Use and Its Effects on Crimes in the Workplace, and a Small Study of Workplace Drug Abusers Under Rehabilitation).

In closing, when you look at these 5 ways that drug abusing employees put your business at risk, a few dollars for drug testing looks like a mighty smart investment.