Random Drug Testing – Things You Must Know

In recent years, random drug testing has become a choice for business owners trying to boost workplace safety and productivity of employees by discouraging them from alcohol and drug use.  As the name suggests, the employees are randomly selected for drug testing using a randomization software or by a third-party administrator (TPA) like MedWay Onsite Health Solutions, Inc. Although there has been an increasing number of business owners adopting random drug testing policies, a large section of them is still reluctant to employ it due to ignorance and other reasons. This post aims to simplify their decision making by giving all relevant answers.

Random Drug Testing Discussed in Brief

Unlike other workplace policies, random drug testing or screening requires no prior intimation. An employer can conduct it anytime. However, the only requirement is that the testing must comply with the legal requirements of the state where the business operates. Some state laws require employers to inform about random drug testing policies at the time of employment. The employers must provide the training materials to employees once they sign the consent for random drug testing policies.

It is widely seen that sometimes random drug testing policies fail to bring results because they do not follow the best practices or meet the legal requirements or regulatory standards. Here are a few proven best practices that allow employers to maximize the benefits of random drug testing policies.

  1. Use a trusted randomization software or any other proven mechanism to ensure a fair selection of employees for testing.
  2. Set a minimal, yet realistic time gap between the testing and announcement as this will help ensure more appropriate results and also discourage employees from evading the test. Most times, employers are recommended to allow only enough time for the employee to get to the testing facility from the current work location. For instance, the Department of Transportation allows a time-period of thirty minutes and a fair travel time from the time of announcement.
  3. Partner with an experienced TPA to realize the benefits of a drug-free workplace program. This is because experienced TPAs are aware of the legal requirements of the state and can also help you in designing random drug testing programs fitting your industry needs.
  4. The employer must be aware of the working policies and hours of the clinic, where the employees are to take the test.
  5. Maintain update documentation for regulatory and legal reasons. This will be helpful during the audit as well as in case of litigation filed by the employee.

How Does a Typical Random Drug Testing Work?

  1. The employee is notified of the upcoming test discreetly through the mail or other means.
  2. The employee visits the clinic and provides a biological sample for testing.
  3. The results are interpreted by the TPA and sent for GC/MS analysis in case of positive results.
  4. Reports are shared with the Medical Review Officer or MRO.
  5. The Custody and Control Forms (CCF) is shared with the employer by the clinic.

A Few Challenges and Solutions with Random Drug Testing Policies

Although there are laws and regulations to ensure fair random drug screening at workplaces, it may not still proceed as required. The following are a few common challenges and their solutions:

  1. If an employee is on a leave or has reported a long-time absence then they must state a valid reason and also confirm their availability in the next selection cycle.
  2. If an employee has to undergo testing on an off day or so, they can opt for the next shift in the selection cycle.

Advantages of Random Drug Testing Policies

Here are a few proven benefits of random drug testing policies:

  1. Helps raise workplace awareness against drug and alcohol use
  2. Dissuades regular drug and alcohol users
  3. Reduces work place injuries and boosts productivity
  4. Reduces the liability of an employer
  5. Helps employers identify employees with drug abuse problems

Do you want to adopt random drug testing policies as part of a drug-free workplace program? Do you dream to build a drug-free and growth-driven workplace? If yes, we can help you. Medway Onsite Health Solutions specializes in random drug testing and offers a wide range of instant or rapid drug testing services such as pre-employment drug testing, probation drug testing, court-ordered drug testing, drug testing in child custody cases, and so on. 

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