Study: Drug use by employees a concern

A study commissioned by the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association (PMA) recently found that drug use by current and potential workers may be a concern for companies operating across the state.

According to the study, which was conducted by Tel Opinion Research, one in three applicants are ineligible for manufacturing jobs because of drug use or drug test avoidance.

Executives polled in the survey reported that 19 percent of all job applicants either refused to take a drug test or did not show up for a scheduled drug test required as a condition of employment.

"The fact that almost one in five potential employees does not complete the required pre-employment drug test underscores the difficulty many employers face in finding reliable and dependable workers," the PMA said in its blog. "When combined with the shortage of skilled workers, employers often report that finding qualified workers remains a struggle; this is just another reason that over 8,000 Pennsylvania manufacturing jobs remain unfilled."

A majority of manufacturing companies in the state reported conducting random drug screenings as a condition of employment, and the percentage increased with the size of the company. Approximately 90 percent of employers said their companies lose less than 10 percent of workers to random drug screenings.

"Businesses cannot and will not risk the safety of their employees, which is why the practice of drug screening is becoming more prevalent," the PMA said.