Can we talk about drugs and licenses?

Discussion in 'Climbing Towers' started by J.T. Karners, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. J.T. Karners

    J.T. Karners Friend of the Community

    If we want climbers to get a more professional reputation and cut down on accidents and deaths then we need to get the druggies and alcoholics out of the workforce. Some of the Estimator's help wanted ads emphasize that the applicant must pass a pre screening test. With pre test detoxifiers and their ability to dope their urine samples, they're probably going to pass. Or they might actually spend enough time without their drug of choice - although it's doubtful.

    Thankfully, random screening and a zero tolerance policy puts a lot of people out on the street looking for another job. Unfortunately, in today's market, it won't be long before they're working for someone else until their THC level once again soars off the chart or they're fired for trashing a motel room, stealing equipment, or some other crack-induced behavior.

    If you look at the Yahoo sites you'll see ads stating that they need employees and crews to start "tomorrow". Do we really think that they are going to test those folks? Even if they do, and they test positive, it's usually after the project is completed, or maybe they'll just ignore the results until such time as it is finished.

    Some states have banned random or blanket drug testing of employees without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, and a few others permit random testing only of employees in safety sensitive positions. Is a hoist operator not in a safety sensitive position? Is a ground man tagging a line not in a safety sensitive position? You betcha!

    Where I see the license really being beneficial is if it has the ability to be revoked if there are (fill in the blank after a careful study is done) violation(s). Granted, safeguards would have to put in place since tests can result in false positives, but this is doable.

    This may be a federal employment issue. I'm not sure if a former employer can tell a future employer if the man was let go specifically for using drugs, it may have to put in language such as "Didn't adhere to company policy." However, the licensing authority wouldn't have to provide that to anyone. They simply yank the climber's license after X amount of positive tests.

    A redemption period and rehabilitation program could be set up so that the climber could reapply after a period of one (fill in the blank after a careful study is done) year(s) and not be deprived of his or her livelihood. But it would take a considerable effort and they, their families and the industry would be better off for their attempt at getting their life back together.
  2. Brad Wegener

    Brad Wegener Friend of the Community

    As a recovering alcoholic, is it fair to be blamed for something I've done before this industry? I think not. For all of you who sit in your offices having so called three martini lunches on work needing to be done, what puts you in a higher standard than me climbing and working?

    I'm tired of high society brats, where daddy bought air rights eons ago telling us how to do our jobs when they can't even climb a 6' ladder.

    When I am on the road for 8 weeks at a time and come home that's my time. I agree that some tower climbers need rehab, but to hold a few bad apples against the industry is wrong. Keep it up and there will be no one to install your products except for you.
  3. RSGification

    RSGification Friend of the Community

    We need to hold ourselves to higher standards. Whether we like it or not, we are in an era of "globalization". We are competing for jobs against HIGHLY SKILLED, HIGHLY EDUCATED and cheap new immigrants.

    Real life example... 4-man tower crew, 3 local and a new immigrant. Every night the local crew spend their per diem having dinner at Chili's, Texas Roadhouse....then grab a beer or two and go back to the motel and have a good sleep while the new immigrant spends his night with a fast food dinner then go straight to the motel and read equipment user manual and plans...
  4. J. Tinsley

    J. Tinsley Industry Observer

    This is an interesting subject. Drugs are bad... yes. Some Drugs worse than others... true. Some good employees that smoke a little pot and drink a little beer. Some do way too much and are a liability.

    Some bad employees don't do any drugs, and are just bad eggs, and are still a liability. I have worked in many settings corporate, small private, construction, as an owner and employee. I have tried to stick to policy and hire people under many different structures, credit checks, drug screens, driving records, grades and credentials.

    To be honest, the ones with the cleanest records have been the some of the biggest disappointments. I have found people who follow all the rules all the time, are bland, lack creativity, and just don't have much spark.

    When it comes to hiring successful employees it's still in large part the Manager's intuition that counts the most in putting his team together. Policy and Demographics are really minor factors.

    As a rule, a drug user is not a good bet. Of course we don't want to hire crack heads, and an employee should be able to pass a drug screen no matter what they do in their free time or they're not smart enough to be working for my team.

    I think the question is not how effective/safe is an employee without a drug screen, but how effective is drug screening really.

    Remember, We are asking employees to stay on the road for weeks at a time away from their families, work 14 hour days, 6 days a week under the worst of conditions and for way less pay than they deserve for an incredibly dangerous job that most folks simply can't and won't do.

    Who do you think you're going to get to do this job? The Pope?
    Tower Surfer and darin zundel like this.
  5. robert carl crawford jr

    robert carl crawford jr Friend of the Community

    they have a 4 hour test that can determine if a worker has:you guessed it used in the last four hours

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