Safety in the construction industry is important, and for this reason many construction firms across the country are challenging themselves to build better workforces by proactively addressing workplace substance abuse and diminishing its potentially disastrous consequences.
A Federal government survey revealed that the construction industry has some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse. Among full-time construction workers between the ages of 18 and 49:
• More than 12 percent report illicit drug use during the past 30 days.
• Almost 21 percent report illicit drug use during the past year.
• Approximately 13 percent admit to heavy alcohol use.1
In the past 15 years, drug testing in the U.S. workplace has gone from ground zero to widespread employer acceptance. In 1983, less than 1 percent of employees were subject to drug testing. Today, about 49 percent of full-time workers are subject to some form of workplace drug testing, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This growth is particularly evident within the construction industry. High rates of drug and alcohol abuse in the industry, coupled with the high-risk, safety-sensitive nature of the industry, for workers and the general public, have prompted many companies to implement a variety of safety strategies, including drug testing.
More construction companies, ranging from large international corporations to relatively small local contractors, are implementing drug-free workplace programs as a way to ensure productive workforces and safe workplaces — company features that ultimately result in increased profitability and success.
Did you know that
- 5-20%, is the discount available in many states for companies that have a comprehensive, effective drug testing, program by workers compensation and liability insurers.
- Substance abuse testing is a requirement of construction sites and a vital part of most safety programs.