Though many believe substance abuse is not a problem in their workplace, statistics suggest otherwise. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly 75% of substance and alcohol abusers are employed. In addition to costing employers billions of dollars per year, substance abusers are more likely to:
- Change jobs frequently
- Be late to or absent from work
- Be less productive
- Be involved in a workplace accident
- File a workers’ compensation claim
To help combat the problem, many employers have implemented a Drug-Free Workplace program. These programs incorporate various elements designed to prevent substance abusers from entering the workplace, identify and assist those already in the workplace, and eliminate continuing abusers from the workplace.
According to NIDA, employers with Drug-Free Workplace programs:
- Report improvements in morale and productivity, and decreases in absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft
- Report better health status among employees and family members and decreased use of medical benefits by these same groups
Employers can also reduce their workers’ compensation insurance premiums by implementing a Drug-Free Workplace program. For example, a 5% premium credit is available in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia. Employers can save up to 7% in Ohio, and 7.5% in Georgia. Additionally, employers with fewer workplace accidents can also see reduced premiums due to an improved experience modification rating.
States have their own requirements for determining whether a Drug-Free Workplace program qualifies for a workers’ compensation premium credit. Since they can be very specific and technical, it is important to consult with a licensed professional prior to implementing a Drug-Free Workplace program.
If you have any questions about implementing a Drug-Free Workplace program or you would like to learn more about reducing your insurance premiums, please contact us.
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