The vast majority of employees are relaxed about the idea of being tested for drugs or alcohol by their employer, and even happy to be tested in their own home when working remotely, a survey has suggested.
The slightly surprising findings, given the historic hesitancy among many employers to go down the testing route, come from interviews with 1,203 people carried out by safety technology company Dräeger Safety UK.
The research, which included 253 managers, focused on the oil and gas sectors and renewables; manufacturing, construction and engineering; and utilities, among others.
In all, it concluded that 83% of those surveyed agreed they would be happy to comply with drug and alcohol testing at work, with a similar percentage (84%) willing to be tested in their workplace.
A total of 70% said they would also have no problem with being tested in their own home when working remotely.
Less than a third (31%) said they would be “horrified” at the idea of being tested by their employer.
The workers surveyed were however split on whether testing should only apply to those operating potentially dangerous equipment rather than workers across the board.
Employee drug and alcohol testing
More than half (53%) agreed it should be just the former, with 47% disagreeing. This appeared to suggest there is at least some support for testing policies to be applied equally across the workforce rather than singling out specific functions, Dräeger Safety UK argued.
Adam Barker, marketing manager for impairment at the company, said: “We are seeing an increase in companies considering introducing drug and alcohol testing in their businesses. It’s perhaps not surprising at a time when misuse of alcohol and other prohibited substances is more widely reported, as well as a rise in prescription medicines for mental ill-health that can sometimes impair performance.
“Employers have a legal duty to protect employees’ health, safety and welfare so having a drug and alcohol policy and testing for substances that have the potential to impair safety the workplace is being increasingly seen as an important part of fulfilling this obligation and protecting all employees,” he added.