Should You Bother With Alcohol Testing
Alcohol is a legal substance in our society and there are many people who can drink socially on the weekends and never have any problem with overuse or driving while impaired or anything like that. You may even be one of those people and you have no objection to any of your employees drinking while they are trying to relax at night or on the weekend.
However you must be aware that alcohol abuse is a major problem in our society as well and that just because someone manages to get out of bed and get to work in the morning does not mean they are not drunk while they do so. The body adjusts to the presence of alcohol in the system and for a functioning alcoholic, they literally cannot go about their day without being drunk. In other words they would be drunk all day every day and if they start to come down from their alcoholic haze, they will drink again to get themselves safely back into it. The only way to find these employees is through alcohol testing.
Failing to do alcohol testing puts your business at risk in countless ways. First of all, if an employee is doing some sort of job that requires a clear mind or exceptional judgment at all times they simply will not be able to give you that level of attention. They may even think they can and if questioned insist that they are just fine, but just like a driver getting behind the wheel and insisting that they are perfectly safe to drive home, it is not true. It might only take a split second of distraction or one bad judgment call and things can go terribly wrong. Of course you might think of train accidents where it comes out later that the driver was a chronic drug or alcohol abuser or maybe truck drivers who kill people because they were not safe behind the wheel and those are all tragic situations that could have been avoided with consistent alcohol testing. But what about the lab worker that failed to identify a cancerous cell, or the businessman who failed to move on a quick stock sale because he was in an alcoholic stupor sitting at his desk. You may never hear about those sorts of employee failures, but they could make a huge difference in the lives of people or of your company.
Establishing a comprehensive alcohol testing program does not mean that no one can drink ever when they work for you. You can set your own rules about when they can and cannot indulge in a drink with friends. But it is important that your employees come to work sober and a good alcohol testing program can make that a reality.