Ninety-four percent of all manufacturing companies surveyed by the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors and two affiliated groups have drug policies in place. But few firms have addressed legalization of marijuana, including those that operate in states where pot has been approved for medical or recreational use.
"The need for skilled labor, the changing state and federal drug laws and the opioid epidemic are issues that impact all manufacturers," said the study, "Drugs in the Workplace: Policies and procedures from U.S. manufacturing companies."
The nationwide survey was conducted by the Indianapolis-based MAPP, the American Mold Builders Association and the Association for Rubber Products Manufacturers. All respondents are members of one of the three trade groups.
The breakdown of respondents was 60 percent plastics processors, 23 percent mold builders and 17 percent rubber products makers. The Midwest accounted for the highest concentration of respondents.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states, according to the study. Nine states, plus Washington D.C. also allow pot for recreational use.
MAPP said more than half of survey respondents — 56 percent — conduct business in states where marijuana is legal in some form. And even though most manufacturers' drug policies still don't specifically talk about medical marijuana, the study said legalization is having some effect.
"The legal status of marijuana has caused some manufacturers to alter their drug policies, eliminate testing for marijuana or avoid drug testing altogether," the report said.
Another finding: While the majority of manufacturers surveyed are in areas that are changing their marijuana laws and/or in locations hit by the opioid crisis, only 8 percent host in-site educational drug programs.
Here are some other findings from the survey:
• 81 percent always conduct pre-employment drug testing. Another 6 percent sometimes do it or test depending on the specific job. "Pre-employment screening has become a semistandard process in manufacturing," the report said. "Some organizations are even required to conduct pre-employment drug testing to receive their workers' compensation discount."
• But random drug testing is not as common. Just 28 percent of companies said they do random testing. Another 19 percent sometimes do them.
• 94 percent of companies conduct some type of drug testing after an accident — either always testing post-accident or by using the reasonable suspicion method.
• 54 percent of manufactures have an employee assistance program (EAP) in place for people struggling with drug and alcohol issues.
The MAPP report includes 48 actual company drug policies used by U.S. manufacturing firms. Company names were removed.