Substance abuse impacts the workplace

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When just one worker has a problem with substance abuse, it can impact the workplace in so many ways that are costly for the employer.

If the employee is absent, you have decreased production and the cost of temporary staff to fill in. If the substance abuse leads to increased accidents on the job, you are faced with medical claims, lost time and even repairing or replacing damaged equipment. Higher accident rates lead to more workers’ compensation claims, which in turn lead to higher insurance rates.

A more intangible result is the impact the employee has on the rest of your staff in terms of morale and disruption to the business workflow.

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In order to deal with the offending employee without singling out the individual for testing, it is important to have a policy that outlines how you handle testing, treatment and employee assistance for all employees. For a guide to such a program, contact the program administrator for GlassInsure, NGA’s sponsored insurance program at 800/640-7601 or, and ask for your free copy of Philadelphia Insurance Company’s “Drugfree Workplace Program.”