Drug and alcohol abuse is a widespread problem affecting many employers around the world. In addition to posing a physical threat to other employees, men and women who choose to come to work under the influence have great risk for accidents. They also have higher instances of absenteeism and poorer production rates. Alcohol screening in the workplace helps identify employees abusing alcohol and gives them the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves.
Monitoring Alcohol Use in the Workplace
Some employers have a no tolerance clause written into their workplace policies and procedures. That means that an employee found drinking on the job or before work will no longer be permitted to keep his or her job. An alcohol screening tests the person in question to see if they have alcohol in their bloodstream.
There are a number of risk factors attributed to alcoholism in the workplace. People under the influence of alcohol are more prone to steal, they are found sleeping on the job, have lower morale, and are often the first to quit a job. Employers wanting to reduce risk and high turnover often perform random alcohol screening to see who is drinking and who isn’t while working.
Should You Perform Alcohol Screening in the Workplace?
Some people argue that alcohol screening is unethical. It draws the line between privacy and professionalism. Employers argue that it’s their right to protect their property, selves, and other workers from alcohol abusers. An alcohol screening is often required before a person is offered employment. It’s one thing that new employees agree to when they fill out their paperwork.
Determining whether or not to enforce a no tolerance clause in the workplace is something that employers, themselves, have to do. In some countries, alcoholism is seen as a disability. Treatment options are offered and employees are able to continue to work until they no longer safely can. Alcohol screening alerts employers to a potential problem where they then determine what course of action to take with the employee.