News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Lehmans

Genie of Fairview Door Company


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Drug tests and drilling jobs are often in conflict
Half or more of the would be fracking workers are rejected for bad drug-tests
Story by TOM BOGERDING


 
Ohio is expected to see a hiring boom connecting to drilling, but drug tests may disqualify half the applicants.
Courtesy of TIM RUDDELL
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Drilling for oil and gas in Ohio's shale is expected to ramp up in the next two years. But, industry leaders say they've hit a snag: Too few potential workers can pass a required drug screen. For Ohio Public Radio, WOSU Tom Borgerding has more.

BOGERDING: Oil fields and drug tests

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:56)


The richest deposits of oil and natural gas in Ohio’s Utica shale formation are believed to be in the counties in the east, in the foothills of Appalachia. There’s a growing demand for workers there. But industry officials say too few qualify, in part, because they cannot pass a required drug screen.

“This is becoming a bigger problem, or people are finally being made aware that this is a bigger problem than we ever realized,” says Rhonda Reda. 

Reda is head of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program. She says abuse of prescription and illegal drugs makes it difficult to find enough workers. She says companies are reporting a rejection rate of applicants tied to drug use as high as 60 percent.

Who do you want operating that crane
Reda’s organization operates training programs throughout eastern Ohio. She says the industry is in a race against time. So far, it’s added about 39,000 jobs in Ohio but she predicts thousands of new jobs will be added during the next three years. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources says 45 new horizontal wells in eastern Ohio are already producing oil and natural gas, and it’s issued permits for nearly 500 more. 

New Concord consultant Elizabeth Carter recruits oilfield workers. She conducts seminars in a bid to find drug-free applicants.

“If you’ve got a crane operator and he’s on Vicodin right now, do you want him on your job site?” asks Carter, who then answers: “Probably not.”

Clean today, not tomorrow
Carter says some workers who pass an initial drug screen are employed only a short time because required random follow-up tests reveal problems.

“Those new hires are usually on there (lists for followup tests), and that’s when they fail the drug test. They’ve cleaned up for your pre-employment and then think that they’re good to go and then they have positive for a random.”

The Centers for Disease Control says prescription drug abuse is epidemic across the country. Dr. Neil Capretto is the medical director of Gateway Rehabilitation Centers, which includes centers in Ohio. He says he’s not surprised by a 50 to 60 percent rejection rate of potential oilfield workers in eastern Ohio. And in many working-class areas of Ohio and Pennsylvania, he says there a physical cause.

“People who are involved with more manual labor, physical type work are more likely to have work related injuries, go to doctors, get prescription medicine,” says Capretto.

Capretto and Reda both say prescription and illegal drug abuse is a huge problem, and it’s prompting energy companies to bring some workers to Ohio from other states. Reda predicts about 30 percent of new jobs created in Ohio’s oil and natural gas fields will be filled by workers from outside Ohio.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Stories with Recent Comments

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University