Drug-Free Workplace: A Guide for Employee Drug Screening

A drug-free workplace is a necessity than a requirement. Today, most business owners understand that maintaining a drug-free workplace can help prevent productivity losses, workplace accidents, and ensure employee safety. Lack of consciousness due to drug consumption can result in theft, workplace malpractices, accidents, financial losses, and hazards to human health. Having said that, maintaining a drug-free workplace is not an easy task and it involves several activities, which need to be performed in sequence to discourage employees from drug consumption. Employee drug screening is one of the most essential factors of a drug-free workplace. Employee drug screening is often performed by third-party administrators on behalf of employers. This can be performed during the recruitment process, during working hours, background verification process, or at other times. As this process serves an important purpose in ensuring a drug-free workplace, it is important to perform it appropriately. To achieve the same, this post discusses a few guidelines to perform employee drug screening with higher authenticity and efficiency.

When Can Employee Drug Screening Be Done?

According to Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (NCADD) reports, about 70% of American employees are reported to work under the influence of drugs. This certainly results in loss of productivity, damaged work ethics, financial and human loss. To prevent such hazards of drug influence, employers can opt for employee drug screening to serve the following purposes.

  1. Background Check during Recruitment: A background check is an essential aspect of the employee recruitment process. It is done in terms of qualification, health records, etc. To perform a background check in terms of health, drug tests are performed to check drug influence in the last 3 months.

  2. Post-Accident Drug Testing: If an accident at the workplace takes place, drug influence can be a reason behind it. According to various Federal surveys, nearly 35% of workplace injuries occur under the influence of drugs. Therefore, for post-accidental cause detection, employee drug screening can be done.

  3. Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing: If an employee is noticed for careless behaviors at the workplace, arguments with colleagues, sudden drop in productivity, etc. Then the drug screening can be performed under reasonable suspicion.

  4. Court Ordered Drug Testing: In case the employee is ordered by the court for a drug test, then the screening can be performed.

To gain accurate results of drug screening tests, the process must be done authentically and meticulously. Let us discuss a few guidelines to do so.

Guidelines for Effective Employee Drug Testing at Workplaces

A highly effective drug screening process can be performed by following the listed guidelines.

  1. Understand the Need for Drug Screening: It is essential for an employer to understand the necessity of drug screening. Identify the need, this can be post-accident cause detection, random drug test for enhancing workplace productivity, etc. This will ease the decision-making on the type of drug testing needed.

  2. Select the Drug Test that Best Serves the Purpose: There are different types of drug tests such as urine test, saliva test, hair follicle test, nail test, etc. Each test has a different potential to test specific substances. Based on the type of substance to be detected, the test should be chosen.

  3. Decide the Drug Detection Window: Different drug tests offer different detection windows. For example, a hair follicle test offers 90 days detection window, whereas a saliva test offers 72 hours detection window. Choose the test that suits your needs.

  4. Test for Commonly Consumed Substances: Commonly consumed drugs should be tested primarily in the screening process.

  5. Ensure Authenticity of Sample Collection: Ensure that the sample is collected and tested by authentic personnel like a Medical Review Officer (MRO).

  6. Educate Your Employees about Drug Screening: Before performing the drug screening process, the employees must be educated on the following aspects.

  7. Adopted drug testing and drug-free workplace policies

  8. Consequences of violation of drug-free workplace policies

  9. Employee Assistance Program (EAP) after employee drug screening

  10. Update Workplace Drug Testing Policies: The Federal laws against drug consumption may differ based on situations. To prevent misunderstanding, the workplace drug testing policies must be updated periodically. Also, the employees should be made aware of these changes.

All the above-mentioned guidelines can be adopted easily if you partner with an experienced and trusted Third Party Administrator (TPA). That is why you should source drug screening services from trusted TPAs like MedWay OHS. The company offers drug testing services to several organizations in the United States. They work with DOT-certified technicians across the country and maintain the records in compliance with FMCSA guidelines, therefore the authenticity and effectiveness of drug testing services are assured.