How To Implement Drug Testing in the Workplace

How To Implement Drug Testing in the Workplace

Workers under the influence are a direct danger to themselves and others. Hence, employers across the nation desire the best protection for their company environment and employees against substance abuse. Employers should implement a drug-free workplace policy that describes their commitment to a drug-free workplace, and explain any type of drug testing the employer will use.

Drug testing in the workplace is only one step in a company’s drug testing program. In order to legally and successfully run a program, other proper steps must be taken beforehand. Let’s closely examine these key steps to ensure the best practices and results occur. Here’s how to implement drug testing in the workplace.


Consider Your Company’s Specific Needs

As a company is in the process of creating a drug testing policy within the workplace, it’s crucial to understand as an employer why you’ve made the decision to implement drug testing. To begin, start off with reviewing any federal requirements.

Federal agencies such as the Department of Defense (DOD) or the Department of Transportation (DOT) are required to drug test by law. However, for those in safety-sensitive roles such as construction, or the oil and gas industries, standards are already in place to ensure public and employee safety.

Outside of these national laws, various states have standards set in place for those in either public or private sectors to regulate drug or alcohol use in a work environment. If your business otherwise is required by insurance to develop a program, it’s better to be safe than sorry and implement drug-free policies that follow local guidelines. When company has coherent values and priorities, policies can be enforced with ease and efficiency.


Have a Coherent Written Policy

The strong cornerstone of a drug testing program is a concise written policy that ensures procedures are followed properly. It acts as a safeguard and defines specific company regulations. An organization’s drug-free policy will have essential, distinguishable components. These elements include a statement of purpose and the responding approaches of policy implementation. A drug-free written policy should include any goals or expectations and openly define them.

A policy should include, outline, and define any consequences or disciplinary actions for an employee that has a positive drug test result. No one desires to face legal repercussions at a later time from human error. Remember, an umbrella or blanket policy may not be enough to cover each employee if they have diverse tasks and responsibilities. Hence, a written policy should address this kind of situation to define which roles require drug testing. Otherwise, testing between employees must be fair, required of all staff, and not discriminatory in nature by age, race, or gender.

Remember to take note of current marijuana laws within your state or local vicinity. A variety of new laws were enacted in 2020, so it’s critical to abide by these laws. Despite the legality of certain drugs, consider the inclusion of a medical disclosure policy if employee impairment would be dangerous for your workplace. If you have questions about any legal obligations, consult a legal expert.


Determine How Drug Testing Takes Place

Each employee should be given a copy of the above policy, and sign and date an agreement of adherence to be placed in their own personnel file. Your company’s policy should outline exactly how, when, and by what means employee drug testing will take place. The scope of testing as well as the correlated processes and procedures should be made known. Traditional drug screening methods are typically done by the collection of urine specimens, saliva, or hair follicles. Many companies utilize these standards so they can screen employees for substance abuse at different times throughout employment.

Some types of these screenings include pre-employment testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, post-incident or accident testing, as well as thorough return-to-duty procedures. While pre-employment testing has grown more common, the other kinds of testing can be beneficial for position-specific or industry-specific safety purposes.

In addition to the above methods, employers must decide exactly which drugs to screen for. Conventional employer drug tests are run by urine screening, which examines samples as a 10-panel test. The drugs on this panel include cocaine, marijuana, methaqualone, PCP, amphetamines, opioids, benzodiazepines, propoxyphene, barbiturates, and methadone. Due to current circumstances of abuse and rising use of medical marijuana or CBS oil, employers can choose to adjust the screening panel for drugs appropriately.


Properly Educate Employees and Management Staff

If you’re wondering how to best implement drug testing in the workplace, focus on education and training for workers. Establish proper communication. As the completed drug-free environment and testing policy is put into place at your business, employees must be informed accordingly of their responsibility to adhere to the policy and their current rights within their work environment. It’s essential to have comprehension beyond mere awareness in order for staff to work within company expectations and correctly follow its rules.

After policy implementation, provide education for all staff on the dangers of impairment. Remember to train supervisors or managers to recognize the warning signs of drug abuse and obvious physical, psychological, or behavioral signs of impairment. Immediate recognition could save lives and further trouble down the road. To best sustain the program, keep it responsive to changes in workplace culture and environment.


Provide an Employee Assistance Program

Last, but certainly not least, consider the addition of an Employee Assistance Program, aka an EAP. Many employers tend to overlook this valuable resource. Don’t be like them. An EAP is a strong complement to your established workplace drug program as it aids employees and encourages them to seek help when necessary. The provision of an EAP shows employees their employer values them as vital assets to the workplace. They’ll know and feel reassured by the provision of aid. Employees can reach the appropriate resources in order to become effective and productive members of the team again.

Remember, drug testing isn’t a sole deterrent against substance abuse in the workplace. Try to balance substance abuse prevention alongside detection. When it comes time to drug testing, turn to American Screening, a top-notch supplier of quality drug testing supplies for all your drug testing needs. Our testing products provide you with a wide range of options suitable to implement a drug testing program within your organization with results you can trust. Contact us with any questions. We’re here to provide excellent service 24/7.

How To Implement Drug Testing in the Workplace

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