This reason more than any other seems to justify drug testing in itself, as it approaches the moral dilemma of protecting each and every member of society from any infliction. More important than the loss of production, if in fact drugs are used on the job, is the safety of fellow co-workers as well as innocent bystanders. John Stuart Mill stated, “The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. ” It is society’s duty to guard against any possible harm that could be inflicted upon its citizens.
There are certain instances or certain jobs in which being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be especially dangerous to other workers as well as innocent beholders. Take the example of an airplane pilot or a bus driver. These are important people in society that are counted on to transport people to different places. They hold each of their passenger’s lives in their hands. Bus drivers put not only their passengers, but also innocent bystanders outside the bus such as other drivers or pedestrians, in harm.
Pilots have crewmembers as well as a significantly large number of passengers on many occasions. If these specialized professionals were to take part in the act of drug use or alcoholism previous to making a trip, they could endanger the lives of many. And what if, by chance and while under the influence, these pilots or drivers were to crash? These types of professionals should almost be required to take a drug test or alcohol test before every trip. In the case of a worker in hazardous waste or nuclear energy, one mistake could lead to a chain of many problems.
These workers put their co-workers and society at risk in nearly every situation, so they must take great care, and know they are of sound mind every time they are working. With any mental error, people could be injured, exposed to excessive radiation or dangerous chemicals, and much worse, killed. So if one of these workers were to go to work while on drugs or intoxicated, their impaired judgement could easily lead to devastation of themselves, co-workers and innocent people within certain boundaries. In a more serious and possibly more influential example, we need to take a look at construction workers.
These are the people who build our buildings, bridges, and the great infrastructures of society. Construction workers hold so many people’s lives, present and future, in their hands. This means that what mistakes they make on the job can cause harm from the present to anywhere in the future. As far as the present is concerned, one slip or miscalculation can lead to serious injury or death for themselves or their co-workers. Drug or alcohol use on this particular job could cause impairment severe enough to cause a worker to forget a small detail or miscalculate how something should be done.
Take for instance a bridge or a building built by construction workers while under the influence. If it is not assembled exactly as planned, it could lead to harmful and possible deadly consequences in the future. These infrastructures of society are so widely used that any mistake could lead to extreme tragedy. In each of these cases, as well as just about any other job, so many factors need to be considered including the innocent people’s families and friends. A major tragedy would not only hurt those directly involved, but also indirectly hurt those close to the victims.
Overall, one worker neglecting the risks of what drugs or alcohol could bring about in the workplace could hurt so many people. * * * Drugs and alcohol in the workplace hurt more than just the user, but they threaten the employer, the business they work for, and most important, they put innocent people’s lives in danger. Drug testing would make people feel more secure about their own safety on the job and would give employers the idea that they are getting the most out of each of their employees. Drug testing promotes responsibility in the workplace, for each other and for the job itself.
If drugs are of any concern in a particular workplace and there is a possibility of them causing immediate harm to other people or to the business over time, than drug testing is necessary in order to stop the problem before it surfaces. Businesses give the privilege of work to people so that they can make an income suitable for healthy living. In turn, it is expected that employees show their employers, co-workers, and all of the innocent citizens of society the same respect they would expect to receive themselves.
Drug testing in the workplace will help prevent financial losses to employers and protect honest citizens from danger in society. Work Cited Santa Clara University. Ethics Connection. 1995-1998. The Dilemma of Drug Testing. http://www. scu. edu/SCU/Centers/Ethics/publications/iie/v1n1/test. shtml LaFollette, Hugh. Drugs, Morality, and the Law, Garland Press, 1994, 283-99. Mandatory Drug Testing. http://www. etsu. edu/philos/faculty/hugh/drug-tst. htm T , Buddy. ABOUT: The Human Internet. Substance Abuse in the Workplace. 1999. http://alcoholism. about. com/health/alcoholism/library/weekly/aa990120. htm.