Drug Screening & Drug Testing in the Warehouse: How to Combat a Hidden Performance Killer in Your Warehouse

The process of preparing orders and shipping them to your customers is such a critical component of your overall supply chain process. Only one minor misstep, such as an inaccurately picked order or incorrectly chosen shipping service level, can cause devastation, leaving customers disappointed. And if mistakes happen too frequently, the overall business will be in jeopardy of losing customers and, therefore, sales. In order to combat these warehouse performance killers, most companies focus on implementing state of the art software and technology, creating and updating processes and procedures, and hiring and training warehouse staff. Make no mistake about it – these components are critical success factors in creating a high performing warehouse. However, there may be some other challenges that are holding back your warehouse from achieving the greatest success possible. And one of the most overlooked of these issues is employee drug problems.

Is Drug and Alcohol Use Affecting Your Staff?

A 2010 National Drug Test Assessment published by the U.S. Dept. of Justice indicated that 8 percent of full time and 10.2 percent of part time employees abuse illegal drugs. Furthermore, the study showed that 32 percent of workers stated that a co-workers’ drug or alcohol abuse negatively affected their job performance. These stats are startling; especially for the warehousing industry – considering that employees are required to operate heavy machinery, forklifts and in some cases drive delivery vehicles.

An Impact That Extends Beyond Mistakes

If any of your warehouse staff is under the influence of drugs or alcohol while at work, then the probability of making picking and shipping mistakes increases exponentially. But this isn’t the only concern that should be on your mind. Workplace accidents can cause significant injury or damage, and are highly correlated with drug and alcohol abuse. And an overlooked impact of employee drug and alcohol abuse relates to warehouse morale – oftentimes making it increasingly difficult to build a cohesive team that bonds with one another and comes together as a group.

Steps to Take if You’re Not Drug Testing

There is enormous regulation pertaining to employee drug and alcohol screening. It’s important to be sure that you understand all of the applicable laws when hiring and testing your employees. Because there are so many laws, many companies turn to experienced drug screening companies. These drug screening services companies specialize in testing and training, and can help your company put together a drug and alcohol screening and compliance program that will reduce the risks of this hidden performance killer in the warehouse. And if your operations include freight management that extends into the realm of the Department of Transportation (DOT), then it’s required by law that you adhere to their rules and regulations – so additional training is necessary that addresses many facets of the drug testing process, including DOT reasonable suspicion training.

So don’t make the same mistake that many companies do each day. First and foremost, recognize that substance abuse problems do exist and can manifest themselves very tangibly in your warehouse. Second, take action and implement a drug and alcohol testing program if you haven’t done so already. In doing so, you’ll find that the safety of your warehouse is enhanced, the morale of your staff improved, and performance of your team increased.

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