Since the implementation of the Workplace Safety Act in 1988, most public and private employers in the United States have been using drug-screening techniques to increase workplace safety. While businesses not operated under or funded by the United States government are not required to drug test, nearly every employer does. They have been told that by drug screening their employees they will increase worker productivity while decreasing absenteeism, employee turnover, workplace accidents, and number of workers compensation requests filed all while making their workplaces safer.
To reach these conclusions, statistics and surveys have been manipulated over the three decades since the Workplace Safety Act’s implementation to better reflect the United States government’s position in the war on drugs, as well as convince uniformed business owners to spend money on an unreliable defense strategy: urine drug testing. Companies like Quest diagnostics endorse and produce these because they encourage more than 200 million businesses every year to continue testing. This puts money in their pockets and creates a placebo effect within the employers mind that they are taking necessary steps toward making employee workplaces safer. Employees’ reactions to these drug tests have been overwhelmingly negative since they tend to be degrading, inconclusive, and an invasion of privacy.
The only way to make workplaces safer is to ensure that employees are not impaired at the workplaces or while performing work related duties. The only way to ensure this is through impairment testing.