Statistics gathered by DriverCheck, Inc., the largest provider of random testing services in Canada, indicate that randomly testing employees for drug and alcohol abuse is an effective deterrent to the misuse and abuse of these substances at work.

Having a random testing program in place has led to the reduction of positive rates among drivers in the trucking industry by 80 percent. The statistics came from a period of over 14 years, and more than 237,000 tests.

Random testing was made mandatory for drivers traveling to the United States in 1996, and between then and the year 2010, the positive rate went down to less than 0.5 percent, from nearly 2.5 percent.

Dr. Barry Kurtzer, Medical Director at DriverCheck and a leading certified workplace drug testing program Medical Review Officer in Canada, shared: “These statistics demonstrate the importance, value, and benefits of introducing pro-active, professionally designed and managed occupational health and safety programs into the workplace.”

Concerns over the fact that drug testing only tests for the presence of substances and does not necessarily assess impairment, Dr. Kurtzer said, fails to take into consideration the value of being pro-active: “Waiting to take action until someone demonstrates blatant visible evidence of being impaired by drug and/or alcohol use on the job is likely attached to a much higher level of safety risk when compared to programs that promote early detection, intervention, and structured return to duty processes.”

Dr. Kurtzer stresses further that the conduct of random testing provides a chance to identify potential problems early and to take appropriate action, before disaster happens.

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