Is Your Workplace Truly Drug-Free?

As an employer, you want to give your employees the benefit of the doubt.
Sure, you want to believe that all your workers come to work each and every day drug-free, but can you say that with 100 percent certainty?
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), drug abuse in the workplace costs business owners $81 billion annually. With that staggering figure in mind, you as an employer have to do everything possible to make sure your business stays drug free.



Workers Comp Impacted

If you did not already know this as an employer, take note that running a drug-free workplace allows you to reduce your required workers comp premiums. In what should be common sense, no drugs in the workplace (included to mean employees do not report for work under the influence) means reduced risk for the on-the-job accidents.
Looking nationwide, if Georgia employers have their drug-free workplace program certified by the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation, they get in return a seven and one-half percent (7.5%) reduction on their workers comp premium. When the employer submits a copy of their certificate of a drug-free workplace yearly to their comp insurance carrier, they continue to receive the 7.5% decrease in their total work comp premium.
Self-insured employers in Georgia can also take advantage of the savings.
The self-insured employer submits a copy of their drug-free workplace program certificate when they file their annual payroll report. The self-insured employer can decrease the monetary figure they set aside for “premiums” which in turn will lessen the amount of company is regularly assessed by the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation.
The state statutes in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington State all include provisions that stipulate a five percent (5%) discount on workers comp premiums for providing a drug-free workplace. Keep in mind that a number of these states do in fact require an annual certificate as does Georgia, so review with the state department that administers workers comp in your state.



Ohio, Hawaii and Idaho
In the Buckeye State of Ohio, officials implemented a five-year phased in workers comp premium decrease for those businesses sporting a drug-free environment.
As the five years culminates, the employer showcasing a drug-free workplace over the five-year period gets a 20 percent decrease in the comp premium the state charges.
In the Aloha State, Hawaii businesses who offer both health and safety programs to include a drug-free workplace policy, also obtain a five percent insurance premium discount. (The difference with Hawaii and the other 5 percent discount states noted earlier is you have to have implemented both a safety program and a health program to receive the discount).
Lastly, Idaho’s state statute does not specify the figure for premium reduction the employer will attain for a drug-free workplace.
Their law states that the employer who provides drug and alcohol testing for all prospective employees and present workers will qualify for a workers comp premium decrease.
In the event you operate in a state not mentioned, be sure to ask your broker what premium decrease you may be eligible for in running a drug-free workplace program.
Think about it, having a drug-free environment in your workplace makes for better employees, better rates on your comp costs, and ultimately better revenue.




Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Principal, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  Contact:


©2014 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.





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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.


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