That’s how much the federal government estimates that drug and alcohol abuse costs American businesses. Nearly three in four adult abusers are employed — some of them perhaps by you. You might know these people by their absentee records: They’re likely to be gone at 2.5 times the rate of the average employee - or perhaps by their Workers Comp claims: Three to five times those of non-abusers.
You’ll also know them by how much they cost your health plan: 300% higher than nonabusers (not to mention the far greater human costs to co-workers, families — and the abusers themselves).
Despite the war on drugs, there’s no overall federal drug-free workplace law for the private sector. Although a few states require drug-free workplaces, others take the voluntary approach. For example, some 13 states reduce Workers Comp premiums for businesses with a drug-free workplace program.
If you create such a program, observe these guidelines:
For more information, feel free to get in touch with our risk management specialists.
Consider these types of claims:
These workplace occurrences are not far-fetched. Our risk management professionals would be happy to provide a thorough review of your Workers Comp policy to make sure that you have the protection you need.
The good news: Taking precautions against this risk can help prevent health problems, limiting your exposure.
The potential for indoor exposure to mold has increased in recent years because of the way we live. To conserve energy, buildings are being built more tightly -- and the tighter the structure, the greater the exposure to indoor mold. Using synthetic building materials literally seals buildings and reduces air movement, creating a higher moisture content that nurtures mold growth.
Poorly designed or maintained heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems contribute to indoor mold exposure; Air filters and air filtration devices provide a comfortable habitat for mold, especially in high humidity conditions. HVAC systems can re-circulate air that contains mold spores and toxins if there are no effective filter systems to trap them. Failure to maintain and clean systems leads to unchecked mold growth and circulation indoors. Humidity worsens the problem; mold thrives in humid conditions.
Human factors contribute to mold exposure, including the fact that we spend so much time indoors, and many of us have compromised immune systems from diseases and medications. What’s more, new and harmful mold organisms are circulating constantly.
Although there’s no practical way to eliminate all indoor molds and mold spores, to stop indoor mold growth and reduce the presence of mold in the workplace, we’d recommend taking these steps:
Large-scale mold problems require the use of professional cleaning services that employ such treatments as oxidizers, fungicides, bactericides, and shielding compounds, which seal the antimicrobial agents within the treated surface.
Our risk management specialists would be happy to help you deal with mold problems in your workplace. Just give us a call.
Some organizations are winning the war against drug abuse by adopting alternative approaches, such as on-site oral-based drug screening, which offer these benefits:
Other alternatives to urine testing, such as hair testing, have emerged. Drug testing is easy to implement and legal -- if not actually encouraged -- in most states. Package programs are available which can be tailored to your firm. Drug testing usually provides a 100-fold return on investment. That's not bad, when you consider that failure to implement an effective drug-free workplace program will probably cost you least $1,000 a year per employee.
For more information on workplace drug testing, give our risk management professionals a call today.