One in 10 Suspect Colleagues are Taking Drugs at Work

One in 10 Suspect Colleagues are Taking Drugs at Work

  • Date: Friday 18th May 2018
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According to a new survey, on average, one in 10 workers have suspected that a colleague has taken illegal drugs whilst at work. The statistics appear to show a degree of regional variation, with higher figures reported in London (24%) compared to the North East (6%).

Drug usage not only puts the safety of individual employees at risk, but also contributes to the cumulative workplace accidents that cost the UK some £4 billion every year. It’s particularly an issue in those sectors where drug misuse takes place in safety-critical working environments such as construction, manufacturing, logistics, public transport networks and utilities.

The survey also found that more than a third of workers worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs could make their workplace unsafe. However, 20% admitted they had taken no action to help or confront a colleague who they believed was taking drugs. Whilst drug misuse has always been a concern when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, this research suggests the issue could be even more widespread than previously thought and could be compounded by the fact that colleagues are reluctant to act – perhaps because they do not have the ability to provide proof or evidence that drug usage has actually taken place.

It is an established fact that regular random drug screening, combined with an effective drug and alcohol policy, acts as a strong deterrent to drug use in the workplace. However, employers who do implement a drug and alcohol policy are often frustrated by the practical challenges within their specific workplaces. Operating a traditional drug screening service using urine tests on a construction site, for example, is rather inconvenient.

A new portable fingerprint-based drug screening test may provide a non-invasive solution for spontaneous workplace drug screening. It takes only a few seconds to collect a fingerprint sweat sample and screen for multiple drugs of abuse – amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates – in a single test, delivering results in under eight minutes.

Source: SHP Online

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