Construction job sites are one of the most dangerous places to work at in America and the presence of drugs and alcohol only make it more dangerous. Construction workers need to stay alert and be able to adjust quickly to their surroundings to avoid injury and, as we all know, being under the influence slows response time. That's why a group of construction organizations have teamed up to help contractors achieve a drug and alcohol free workplace.
Shockingly, construction workers have the highest rate of current drug users (15.6%) out of any other industry in the United States, according to the US Department of Labor (US DOL). That's 4 percentage points higher than the next closest industry! The US DOL also states that workers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident in the workplace and five times more likely to file a workers' compensation claim. Lost time and workers compensation claims by substance abusers is estimated to cost the economy over $240 BILLION dollars each year.
The Construction Coalition for a Drug- and Alcohol- Free Workplace (CCDAFW) was founded by the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc (ABC) and The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and now also includes the Construction Industry Roundtable (CIRT), the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC), and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER).
These organizations have combined their efforts in an attempt to rid the construction industry of injuries and deaths connected to drugs and alcohol related accidents. To do so, the CCDAFW has created a pledge that contracting companies can sign to commit themselves to the idea of a substance free workplace and have made many free resources available to the companies to show their employees that they take this subject seriously. Among the resources are a model substance abuse policy, a state by state substance abuse testing policy, and several best practices documents created specifically for substance use reduction.
Over 2,000 construction companies have already signed the pledge, will your company be next? We hope so.