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Does random drug testing really prevent workplace injuries?

Nowadays, employers will often tell their prospective employees that their job offer is dependent upon them successfully passing a pre-employment drug test. The main reason that employers have their workers take these is to reduce the chances of an employee having an accident once they start working there. Employers will often have employees take drug tests after an incident happens as well.

Employers have a good reason for asking employees to submit to drug tests. Data published by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD) shows that, of the nearly 15 million Americans who use drugs, 70 percent of them have jobs.

Statistics published by the National Drug-Free Workplace Alliance (NDWA) corroborates this data. They argue that 74 percent of those who use illegal drugs have jobs. They also point out that they're responsible for as much as 40 percent of all industrial-sector workplace fatalities.

National Safety Council (NSC) data shows that workers with prescription drug dependencies have significant work performance issues. They have up to five times the rates of tardiness, unexcused absences, tendency to become violent and get hurt on the job than those who don't do drugs. They often end up being fired from or quitting their jobs within a year of taking them and file significantly more workers' compensation claims than no-drug users.

Data published by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) captures how at least 40 percent of thefts and 50 percent of workplace accidents involve a worker with a drug abuse problem.

Pre-employment drug testing can help Knoxville employers identify and weed out workers that are prone to get hurt on the job. They're often performed in compliance with Tennessee laws after an employee has an accident. Positive tests may result in employers not having to compensate workers for some of their injury-related costs.

If you were hurt by a colleague under the influence of drugs or were on them yourself at the time of your incident, you may decide to consult with a workplace injuries attorney. They'll help ensure that you're treated fairly by your employer and the workers' compensation system.

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Knoxville, TN 37923

Phone: 865-531-9400
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115 East Unaka Ave.
Johnson City, TN 37601

Phone: 423-415-1920
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