Researchers at a leading business insurance website have revealed that as many as three quarters of construction workers agree with random drug testing whilst on site. Furthermore, the majority of respondents stated that they would feel a lot safer and more secure if employees operated under rules in which they could be tested and dismissed at any point if they were proved to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A leading business insurance website in the UK has decided to investigate random drug testing on construction sites, following recent reports of a legal case won by a bus driver who lost his job after failing a drugs test, when he’d actually done nothing except handle some banknotes contaminated with cocaine.
The team at www.constructaquote.com wanted to explore the idea of random drug testing on construction sites. To do this, they polled a total of 1,489 construction workers and 404 construction employers from across the UK, in order to gauge the general reaction of how those working in the industry feel about drug tests. All construction workers taking part were aged 21 and over and had worked within the construction industry for at least five years.
All participants were initially asked whether they had ever worked on a construction site which carried out random drug testing as part of its policy, with less than one tenth (9%) of workers stating that they had done so. Of these individuals, all stated that they had passed their tests without any suspicious results.
When then asked whether they believe that random drug testing should be made a mandatory procedure carried out across all construction sites in the UK, over three quarter of the workers (76%) and half of the employers (49%) agreed that it should be.
Next, construction workers and employers who believed that drug testing should be made mandatory on all sites were then asked to state reasons that behind their beliefs most correctly and given a list of answers, with the most common answers given as follows:
- I would feel a lot safer and more secure in my workplace with drug-testing in place- (68%)
- I don’t want to work with people who are putting me in danger- (54%)
- I don’t want poor work carried out if co-workers are under the influence of drugs- (43%)
- I don’t want to work or associate with drug users- (22%)
- Drug testing may help those who use habitually to quit their habit and put their career first- (15%)
When the respondents who stated that they did not agree with making the drug testing compulsory across construction sites were then asked to reveal why not, the top five reasons given emerged as follows:
- Random drug testing would take up too much time in organisation and implementation- (77%)
- The costs involved in carrying out the drug tests would be too expensive for construction companies- (61%)
- There are no guarantees the drug testing would be 100% effective – (40%)
- I believe workers should be allowed to spend free time however they wish- (16%)
- I take drugs occasionally and would be concerned about losing my job- (5%)
Lyndon Wood, Creator and CEO of constructaquote.com made the following comments regarding the findings of the research:
“Taking into account how important safety and accuracy is regarding so much of the work carried out on construction sites, it seems as though implementing drug tests would work out as a perfectly logical step to ensure the safety of workers and the peace of mind of employers and construction clients.”
“Having said that, it is argued amongst many think that the science and technology behind the tests are not perfected enough yet to give totally accurate results. Lives and careers could potentially be irreversibly damaged through a faulty drug test, as one can see in such cases as the bus driver who failed his test. So, whilst I do think that drug tests should be implemented across all sites eventually, perhaps now it is too soon to risk the potential problems and risks associated with someone being falsely accused of using.”