Keystone RV Co. moved quickly to identify workers who may be using drugs when informed by local law enforcement of a potential problem at one of its plants.
According to a report in the Elkhart Truth, the Goshen, Ind., towable builder conducted a plantwide drug screening last week of all workers – blue collar and white collar – in Plant No. 304, which produces travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers.
Among a work force of about 120, almost a third subsequently tested positive for one of four illegal drugs: marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines.
A separate report by the Associated Press inaccurately stated that the number of employees who tested positive represented one-third of Keystone’s work force.
Keystone said those who failed the drug screen either quit or were fired.
“We have always worked closely with local law enforcement making sure we have a safe and drug-free environment for all of our employees,” said Ken Julian, human resource manager at Keystone. “Through that partnership, we had reason to believe there was drug activity at Plant 304, which prompted us to take prompt action.”
The drug screen was not the first time Keystone has taken the offensive to combat drug use by its employees. But it was the first time an entire plant was tested, primarily because a tip from Goshen police said the problem was isolated, according to Julian.
Occupational health-care staff took urine samples from each worker, after which they were sent home for the day with pay.
Preliminary results were available immediately, and workers were told the results, Julian said. All samples also were sent to the South Bend Medical Foundation for confirmation.
“Those who tested positive were put on unpaid leave until we got confirmation,” he said.
Testing positive for one or more illegal drug is grounds for dismissal at Keystone.
A Goshen police officer was nearby in case a problem arose, but Julian said the process went smoothly.
“Everyone participated and cooperated fully,” he said. “It was a very cooperative group of individuals.”
The next day, the plant reopened and resumed normal production.
“We’re being very proactive,” said Ron Fenech, president and CEO of Keystone. He said Keystone is doing this not only for plant safety reasons but because it’s the right thing to do.
“There was some feedback from the police that one of our plants was having troubles with drugs. We responded to this,” Fenech said. “It’s up to us as an employer to deal with it. I think we’re trying to do as much as any RV company in the country.”