Boca Raton, FL – NCCI recently released a new research brief on Drug-Free Workplace Premium Credit Programs, noting that legalization of marijuana, both recreational and medical, has been an active issue over the last few years, and its implications for workers’ compensation are still being evaluated.
One question naturally arises—what are the implications of the legalization of marijuana for WC Drug-Free Workplace safety programs? This question won’t be fully answered until case law evolves further.
In the meantime, employers also have continuing concerns about the use of opioids, methamphetamines, cocaine, and other drugs that might impair a worker. A review of the results for risks with WC Drug-Free Workplace Program (DFWP) credits seems appropriate. The study includes a limited number of states, and there could be other states (e.g., Ohio) with similar programs not included in the analysis.
Application of DFWP credit programs varies by statute. Generally, to be eligible for this credit, employers may need to implement DFWPs with notice, education, employment-related drug and alcohol testing, or similar procedural requirements. A wide range of drugs might be tested for and include drugs that might impair the employee’s ability to perform their job or make them more subject to injury to themselves or fellow workers.
A common expectation may be that workplaces with drug-free workplace programs will generally have fewer injuries or accidents than otherwise comparable workplaces that do not have such programs. In particular, one might expect that claim frequency for employers with DFWPs would generally be lower than for otherwise comparable employers without a DFWP.
The study compares the lost-time claim frequency for WC policies with and without DFWP premium credits. The question being reviewed is whether WC policies receiving DFWP credits, in the reviewed states, do in fact have lower frequency than policies without DFWP credits. Note: Risks that do not have DFWP premium credits may or may not be drug-free workplaces.
Read the free report: NCCI Insights: Drug-Free Workplace Premium Credit Programs (PDF)