A Drug Free Workplace Policy is an important part of each company’s policies and procedure manuals. Within that policy, you’ll want to outline when and how drug testing will take place. There are several things to consider when determining what’s right for your company, including frequency of testing, where to take collections, types of tests and lab work needed, utilization of medical review officers and methods of reporting. In this article, we focus on determining when to test. All employees must be treated the same to keep the credibility of the program and not allow for discrimination. As your compliance specialist you can ask me any questions so I can tailor a plan to your needs. Generally, I recommend the following types of testing protocol:
Prior to an employee working for your company you want them to have a drug test. Make sure they sign a consent form that states the company has a drug free workplace policy that requires drug testing. Most pre-employment drug tests are done at a facility which gives the candidate an opportunity to “pass” the test, yet about 6% still fail.
When done on-site this is your company’s number one defense in keeping a drug free workplace. It keeps employees on their toes because they are never sure when they will be tested.
NOTE: When newly instituting random testing every company can expect drug positive rates of anywhere from 5 percent to 22 percent.
Testing for both alcohol and drugs after an accident is recommended and can benefit your company enormously. Workers’ compensation claims are often denied to employees found under the influence. Ideally testing should occur within the first two hours but no more than eight hours following an acid
This can be the hardest form of testing your employees. Who is to say that someone is under the influence? Supervisor training for reasonable suspicion is an excellent way to help your managers/supervisors know what to look for. If you smell, see or hear something that gives clear evidence, have another party verify it, and if agreed, test immediately. Changes in a person’s character, moods or behavior over a period of time will also raise reasonable suspicion and testing should be considered.
Return to Duty:
If an employee is returning to work after any form of leave longer than three months, we encourage a return to duty drug test. If they are returning after being suspended for drug or alcohol abuse a substance abuse professional will have a program for them that should include drug periodic testing.
Give me a call at 508-333-9555 or visit us on the web at www.massmdt.com