Joining a Drug Testing Consortium Can Save Employers Money on Their Drug Testing Program
Implementing your own drug and alcohol testing program can be a challenge. No matter the size of a company, employer’s face compliance issues that include state laws, federal laws, OSHA and other agency regulations that must be met – and these rules change over time.
To make sure your drug program is compliant with the FMCSA, FAA, FTA, HHS, or others involves a lot of research, planning and administrative work – all of which can be costly and time consuming.
As Joe Reilly, past Chairman and current board member of the Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) said in an article, “drug and alcohol testing is serious business; it is not like buying office supplies where you get the lowest price for 100 staplers. You need a drug testing program with many moving parts and you need service, compliance, accuracy and someone who will answer the phone.”
For many employers, working with a drug and alcohol management company or consortium can do all the heavy work in order be keep them in compliance while saving them money. Before we discuss how, does drug testing actually save companies money?
Examples of Companies That Saved Money with a Drug Testing Program
Ian Ellison, Vice President of Tucson Rubber, a manufacturer of rubber mechanical parts in Arizona, says a high degree of absenteeism, a general lack of attention, and low productivity at the plant led the company to discover that about 20 percent of its work force was involved with drug use.
In response, the company implemented a pre-employment drug testing policy. At first, says Ellison, the results were “unbelievable.”
“Almost every third person who walked through the door couldn’t pass a drug test,” Ellison says. Soon the word spread regarding Tucson Rubber’s policy. A sign on the door warns of the company’s drug testing program.
“Some of them just see that sign and turn around,” Ellison adds. Today, the company estimates that only 5 percent of its employees are involved with drugs.
Four years after implementing his workplace substance abuse program, Jerry Moland, owner of Turfscape Landscape Care, Inc., of Chandler, Arizona, says his company has realized savings of more than $50,000 per yearÑan enormous savings on only $550,000 in annual sales.
Moland says “If I couldn’t have my drug-free workplace program, I’d just lock up my doors and go out of business.”
In the right hands and with the right context, drug testing collection and management expertise can protect assets, save lives, and save money.
As we mentioned, there is a lot employers need to know to run a federally-compliant drug and alcohol testing program.
When joining a consortium, not only are you are hiring a compliance expert who will make sure your program is legal and managed completely but this allow employers to pool resources with other companies to keep your costs down.
The FMCSA agrees. “The [consortium] manager can devote full attention to the testing regulations and your testing program. He or she can be the expert in this area, and you can be the expert in vehicle movement and maintenance.”
Remember: You don’t hire a plumber to do your electrical work, so why hire an urgent care clinic to do your drug testing?
A Consortium Reduces Employers Administrative Costs
The time involved in managing a compliant drug testing program is immense. From managing a truly-random testing pool, training staff, and establishing/updating a policy to follow law changes, it’s a lot of extra work for any company.
Outsourcing these tasks to experts that focus all of their time in this industry ensures there are no errors and tasks are being completed correctly. In doing so saves employers and their employees a lot of time and hassle.
For the DOT, joining a consortium helps you maintain a random pool and select drivers for random testing, as required by the DOT. DOT modes required to have a drug testing program include: Aviation, Commercial Motor Carriers, Maritime, Pipeline, Railroad, and Transit.
A Consortium Will Save Employers Money
Like any other purchases, employers can save money by buying drug and alcohol testing services “in bulk”. So, if you’re a smaller employer with only a few employees to test, the cost per unit will be much higher than it will be for a larger company with more employees.
If several smaller companies join together in a consortium to create a larger employee pool, this will result in a lower cost per test and greater cost savings for each employer.
Not Happy With Your TPA or Don’t Have A Consortium?
Our program management services assist our clients by increasing profitability through testing for safety in the workplace while managing the costs.
We have a proven record and can work with companies and agencies with existing programs to seamlessly bring program management, compliance and costs under control. We can also help set-up a new policy and testing program customized for your needs.
At CleanFleet, a family own and run organization, we strive to provide our customers nationwide with much more than just a test. Our programs seamlessly integrate every element of our clients’ testing needs including collections, laboratory services, results reporting, and every step in between. As a Best-in-Class TPA and collection site, we are proud to be entrusted to manage our client’s drug and alcohol testing programs, no matter your industry. Call us today at 503-479-6082.