Employee Drug Testing – It’s Worth the Cost

A urine sample is shown on top of a blank drug testing form.

Implementing an effective employee drug testing program has many organizational benefits for your business. It promotes employee safety and a more productive workplace, not to mention that it is simply good business sense. While there are expenses to testing your employees, the advantages of drug testing make it worth the cost.

Comparing the Costs and Benefits of Drug Testing

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) poll results, for 39 percent of respondents, drug testing costs less than $30 per test per person. Very few respondents reported paying more than $50 per test per person.

Benefits to Drug Testing

Any employer wishing to drug test employees must have a drug and alcohol policy in place prior to the testing. These policies should be reviewed by an attorney to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, and the testing program should follow all laws and regulations.

In addition to increased safety in the workplace, studies have shown other benefits to a drug and alcohol testing program.

Less Absenteeism

9% of organizations reported high absenteeism rates (more than 15%) prior to a drug-testing program, whereas only 4% of organizations reported high absenteeism rates after the implementation of a drug-testing program. This is a decrease of approximately 50% of employee absenteeism.

Lowered Costs

14% of organizations reported high workers’ compensation incidence rates prior to a drug-testing program, whereas only 6% of organizations reported similar rates of workers’ compensation after the implementation of a drug-testing program, a decrease of approximately 50%.

Decreased Employee Turnover

16% of organizations saw a decrease in employee turnover rates after the implementation of drug testing programs.

Before You Implement a Program, Know the Laws

In some cases, testing is a requirement. It’s recommended that employers retain legal counsel specializing in drug testing to review drug and alcohol testing laws in the states where their applicants and employees reside and states where they have physical locations. Companies covered by the United States Department of Transportation must test employees for drug use. The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some companies to test employees if they wish to obtain a contract with the federal government. In addition, if a company receives a grant from the federal government, it must test its employees for drug use.

If you would like to discuss implementing or modifying your employee (DOT or Non-DOT) drug testing program, please contact Kim Hebert, khebert@occupationalhc.com to get information about our doctors, services, and employee testing programs.


Occupational Health Center offers employers a large array of health services designed to maximize the effectiveness of your valued employees. With a strong focus on workers’ compensation claims, our services promote the continued well-being of your employees’ health and their return to work.

For more than 10 years, the business, industrial, and corporate communities have placed their trust in our doctors to provide medical care, services, and testing for thousands of their employees. 

We’re glad you asked, how can we help?


CHRON – The Advantages of Drug Testing Employees
Drug Testing Efficacy 2011, a recent poll conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA)
Society for Human Resource Management

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