Employee assistance programs, drug testing, and workplace injury

Source: Geetha M. Waehrer, Ted R. Miller, Delia Hendrie, Deborah M. Galvin, Journal of Safety Research, Volume 57, June 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Introduction: Little is known about the effects of employee assistance programs (EAPs) on occupational injuries.
Materials and methods: Multivariate regressions probed a unique data set that linked establishment information about workplace anti-drug programs in 1988 with occupational injury rates for 1405 establishments.
Results: EAPs were associated with a significant reduction in both no-lost-work and lost-work injuries, especially in the manufacturing and transportation, communication and public utilities industries (TCPU). Lost-work injuries were more responsive to specific EAP characteristics, with lower rates associated with EAPs staffed by company employees (most likely onsite). Telephone hotline services were associated with reduced rates of lost-work injuries in manufacturing and TCPU. Drug testing was associated with reductions in the rate of minor injuries with no lost work, but had no significant relationship with lost-work injuries.
Practical applications: This associational study suggests that EAPs, especially ones that are company-staffed and ones that include telephone hotlines, may prevent workplace injuries.

• In 1989, employers with EAPs had significantly less no-lost-work and lost-work injuries.
• Lost-work injury rates were lower in companies with EAPs staffed by company employees.
• EAP hotlines were associated with lower lost-work injury rates in manufacturing and transportation/communications/public utilities.
• Evidence of an association between drug testing and the occupational injury rate was weak.