Drug-Free Workplace Act for the Construction Industry
Substance abuse contributes to staggering losses in businesses in the form of absenteeism, health care expenses, theft, lost productivity and the big one – accidents.
A Federal government survey conducted in 1996 revealed that the construction industry has some of the highest rates of alcohol and drug abuse. Among full-time construction workers between the ages of 18 and 49:
- More than 12% report illicit drug use during the past 30 days.
- Almost 21% report illicit drug use during the past year.
- Approximately 13% admit to heavy alcohol use.
National statistics show 33% of all workplace deaths have some link to drug or alcohol use. A recent Cornell University Study of drug use in the construction industry found 71 companies reduced injury rates by an average of 51% within two years of implementing a drug-free workplace program compared to a 14% reduction at companies without programs in the same period.
In addition to working directly with construction clients, Working Partners® is the endorsed partner of the Builders Exchange, Inc., the Ohio Construction Suppliers Association (formerly the Ohio Lumbermens Association), the Ohio Ready Mix Concrete Association and the American Subcontractors Association of Ohio. Working Partners® assists their members in reducing the high costs of workplace substance abuse and helps members improve safety, reduce company liability and maximize available workers' compensation discounts.
Throughout the nation, employers who have a drug-free workplace can take advantage of many workers' compensation premium savings opportunities, including up to 90% premium discount over the course of five years in Ohio. Grant monies, such as Ohio's SafetyGRANT$ (up to $10,000 for private sector state-funded companies), are available to assist employers with the costs of operating drug-free workplaces.
According to the Drug-Free Workplace Act, Ohio House Bill 80 , if you're a contractor or subcontractor in Ohio without an approved drug-free workplace program, you will not qualify to bid on state administered construction projects. If you are working on a state job, you can face severe penalties and barment from future projects. Several states around the nation have similar laws enacted.
So, besides the high risk nature of the construction industry, these employers have many reasons to operate a drug-free workplace company!