The hottest energy boom is in the heart of the Rockies with its abundant oil and gas drilling operations. With the boom has come a young, roughneck workforce and big paychecks to boot. From the onset of the big money and oil flow, there has been a substantial increase in assault, domestic violence, theft and meth addiction. It is estimated that one third of all rig crews in the Rocky Mountains have meth problems that create a new subset of health and safety concerns. While some rig operators do periodic drug testing, others find looking the other way keeps the rigors of the production “boom” moving smoothly and on schedule.
Companies may see higher production in the short term but then suffer from high employee turnover and long term productivity when employees abuse methamphetamines and other substances. What should an employer or employee be doing to prevent substance abuse in the work environment? According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, there are some simple steps that you can take to help promote a drug-free workplace environment.
Most employers pre- screen at time of application and include a mandatory drug screening program. However, many employees who abuse meth in order to overcome the rigors of a long workweek move from job to job as screenings occur.
To learn more contact your local, Department of Workforce Services, office or Drug Enforcement Agency to find out what company policies are concerning drug testing. If you suspect an employee of substance abuse at work, contact your Human Resources representative who can then work with the Employee Assistance program for further support. Agencies may also offer workplace seminars to support your efforts.