Safety at Work

Four factors to consider before you test employees for drugs

Employers conduct drug tests for a number of reasons. The reasons include deterring and detecting drug use, providing concrete evidence for intervention and referral to treatment or disciplinary action. But before you decide to conduct drug testing in your workplace, consider these four factors.

There are a few questions you have to ask yourself before you decide to test your employees for drugs.

Do you know what they are?

Want to test employees for drugs? Answer these four questions first...

Question#1: Who will be tested? Options may include all staff, job applicants, or employees in safety-sensitive positions.

Question#2: When will tests be conducted? Possibilities include pre-employment, upon reasonable suspicion or for cause, post-accident, randomly, periodically and post rehabilitation

Employees will undergo periodic health screening, medical surveillance and physiological surveillance.

Question#3: Which drugs will be tested for? Options include testing applicants and employees for illegal drugs and testing employees for a broader range of substances, including alcohol and certain prescription drugs.

Question#4: How will tests be conducted? Different testing methods are available.

Keep in mind that your employee has the right to refuse a drug test. Make sure random drug testing and random searches are a condition of employment to protect both you and your business

Essentially, if your company wants to do drug and alcohol testing, you must have a clear and specific Drug-Free Workplace Policy. In addition, be sure to answer these questions before you conduct tests.

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