Study reveals the extent of drug use in the workplace

Nearly one million UK employees have drugs in their system at work, research by drug-screening firm Concateno has concluded.

The report, High society: drug prevalence in the UK workplace, analysed the results of more than 1.6 million workplace drug tests between 2007 and 2011 and stated that there had been a 43% increase in employees testing positive for drugs during that period.

One employee in 30 had drugs in their system at any point in time within the workplace, it concluded. Drug use was identified in 3.23% of the employees tested in 2011, an increase from 2.26% in 2007.

Assuming a total of 29.23 million people in employment in the UK, this would extrapolate to around 940,000 British employees with drugs in their system while at work at any point during the study.

The most prevalent drugs used by UK employees were cannabis, opiates (excluding heroin) and cocaine, added the report.

Dr Claire George, laboratory director at Concateno, said: “The positivity rate of 3.23% reported in this study demonstrates that drug use in the workplace is an issue that employers should be aware of. These are conservative figures across the workplace, when you consider how many companies do not have a screening programme in place.”

XpertHR provides a model policy and procedure to help outline the company’s rules on drug and alcohol abuse at work and the steps to taken to reduce the associated health and safety risks.

Comments are closed.