An Accounting of Issues When Using Drugs Going from Social Responsibility to Work Related Safety

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Recreational use of a variety of drugs has become a socially accepted practice. Some individuals have gone so far as to be under their influence while at work. The city of Janesville has a problem with individuals under the influence of drugs while at work, and this poses a safety risk for the individual, co-workers, and customers, therefore, routine and random drug testing should be made mandatory, in order, to discourage this behavior. The safety of those who live, work, and play in Janesville should be everyone’s number one priority.

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Using drugs compromises the safety of the individual using them. For example, Meghan came to work one day, and was behaving strangely. She had smoked some marijuana and shot up some heroin within the past few hours. Her hands were shaking, and she was having difficulty walking in a straight line. She managed to clock in and wash her hands. Then she walked over to the table, where the sandwiches were made, and grabbed the knife. She started slicing the bread and nearly cut herself. Because of this near miss, her boss sent her to do some food preparation in the back area. Less than two minutes later, she was screaming and wailing. She had cut her finger. The cut was a quarter inch deep, and about three quarters of an inch from the tip of her finger. After twenty minutes of applying pressure, it was still bleeding, and she was sent to the hospital. The doctor put seven stiches in her finger, and she could not go back to work for three days. This incident was preventable; If Meghan had not been under the influence of drugs, she would not have cut herself. Meghan is not the only individual to injure herself because of drug use. There seams to be countless stories of on the job injury that are related to drug use.

Individuals who are under the influence of drugs can cause injury not only to themselves, but also to their co-workers. For instance, Jeff worked at a warehouse on the south side of town. He followed all the rules. To him safety was the number one priority. One of Jeff’s co-workers, Bill, had other priorities. He valued the feeling that cocaine gave him more than being safe. Bill had been at a party late the night before, and had taken a couple hits. When he woke up for work the next day, he could still feel the effects, but did not think it was an issue. Bill was driving the forklift in order to take the pallets to the loading dock. When he failed to see Jeff walking down the isle, Jeff was hit and run over by the machine. Jeff was rushed to the hospital. He had several broken bones and massive internal bleeding. He spent two months in ICU and another nine months in rehabilitation. Bill’s choice to use drugs and be under their influence while at work caused the severe injuries Jeff sustained. Furthermore, injuries like Jeff sustained are becoming more common. The increased use of drugs has caused those who use them to care less about safety.

In addition, an individual under the influence of drugs hinders the safety of the customers of the organization he or she works for. To illustrate, Adam was a school photographer. He had passed all the background checks and been approved to work around children. However, the background checks did not show that he was a regular drug user. He dabbled in a little bit of everything, and he mixed multiple drugs together in order to continue to feel the high. On this particular day, Adam was going to an elementary school. He had overlooked the fact that he had not setup his equipment correctly. The first class that came in was a group of first graders. When Nadia stepped onto the block to get her picture taken, she was feeling a little nervous, so Adam walked over to her and tried to make her feel at ease. He bumped one of the poles holding his equipment up, and it fell on Nadia. The heavy equipment broke her arm, and she had to wear a cast for the next three months. Because of Adam’s choice to be high at work, he missed that his equipment was not setup properly, and therefore caused injury to Nadia. Nadia is not the only person to be injured because of the negligence of an employee of a company. Should we turn a blind eye to the use of drugs that increases the likelihood of such incidences happening?

In conclusion, when individuals choose to use drugs and then go to work high, it can result in injury to the individual, his or her co-workers, and the customers of the company he or she works for. In order to deter this behavior, an ordinance should be put in place that requires companies to perform random and routine drug testing on all of its employees. If employees are aware that they could be tested for drugs any time they come into work, they are more likely to think twice about taking a drug prior to coming into work, and this will reduce the on the job accidents that injure the individual, co-workers, and customers.

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