○ Do you have a Workplace drug testing policy?
Testing an employer for substance abuse can help determine if the employee or job applicant is abusing drugs. It will identify evidence of recent substance abuse, particularly prescription and illicit substances.
As an employer, it is important you set out and implement a clear and concise employer workplace policy. Make sure that every employee is aware of its contents and clearly state your position to substance abuse within the workplace. Part of your implementation should include employee education about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse while working in safety-sensitive areas, construction sites, engineering, driving and handling cash are just some examples. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can be added to provide help for employees who may have a drink or substance abuse problem.
○ How to set up an employee workplace policy.
An effective workplace drug testing policy for your small businesses might start with five simple sentences. You can add additional content as required to suit the needs and circumstances of your company.
- [Your Company] is committed to protecting the safety, health, and well-being of its employees and all people who come into contact with its workplace(s) and property, and/or use its products and services.
- Recognizing that drug and alcohol abuse poses a direct and significant threat to this goal, [Your Company] is committed to ensuring a substance-free working environment for all of its employees.
- [Your Company] therefore strictly prohibits the illicit use, possession, sale, conveyance, distribution, or manufacture of illegal substances, intoxicants, or controlled substances in any amount or any manner.
- Also, [Your Company] strictly prohibits the abuse of alcohol or prescription drugs.
- Any violation of this policy will result in adverse employment action up to and including dismissal and referral for criminal prosecution.
Before you start putting together your Workplace drug testing policy for employees, you should consider these questions:
- What is the purpose/goal of your policy?
- Who is covered by your policy?
- When does your policy apply?
- What behavior is prohibited?
- Will employees be required to notify you of drug-related convictions?
- Does your policy include searches?
- Does your program include drug testing?
- Violation of policy, what will the consequences?
- Are there Return-to-Work Agreements?
- What type of assistance is available?
- How is employee confidentiality protected?
- Who is responsible for enforcing your policy?
- How will your policy be communicated to employees?
○ What is workplace drug testing?
Employers who decide to test a job applicant or employee must determine what drugs they are testing. Don’t just pick a standard five test because everyone else does.
The test used by U.S. Department of Transportation consists of a test for six substances. These six substances include THC (marijuana), Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamines, Phencyclidine, and Ecstasy. Here are some options. Use that as your starting point, then think about what other drugs you may wish to include in the test.
Many employers today go beyond testing for these six drugs, expanding the panel to ten or twelve. The test panel can be extended to include as many drugs as you see fit. It may wish to include Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Oxycodone, Barbiturates, and Methamphetamine.
○ Is workplace drug testing useful?
Common reasons employers implement workplace testing policy:
- Deter employees from abusing illicit substances, prescription medications, and alcohol.
- Prevent hiring individuals who are abusers.
- To identify early and appropriately help employees who have substance or alcohol problems.
- Provide a safe and comfortable workplace for employees.
- It instills consumer confidence that employees are working safely and protects the general public.
- Comply with State laws and Federal regulations.
- Benefit from increased discounts for Worker’s Compensation Premiums.
○ What are the pros and cons of workplace drug testing?
Alcohol and drug abuse can create significant health and safety hazards. It can result in decreased productivity and poor employee morale. It leads to additional costs in the worker’s compensation claims and short-term disability claims.
Pros to the company:
- Increased employee morale.
- Decreased workplace accidents.
- Reduced employee theft.
- Increased productivity.
- Reduced employee turnover.
- Decreased cost of insurance, such as workers’ compensation.
Cons to the company:
- Abusers have poor work performance.
- Frequently call out or arrive late to the workplace.
- Frequently change workplaces.
- Struggle with productivity.
- File for workers’ compensation claims and benefits.
○ Workplace drug testing kits.
We stock many options for drug testing in the workplace and provide valuable information on how to use drug tests and what substance they detect.
○ Useful Government links:
- Are drug test kits good value? Yes if you purchase from a reputable source - March 1, 2020
- What are the benefits of 5 panel drug tests? - February 28, 2020
- Beware of danger as Opioid Abuse hits the Workplace! - February 27, 2020