Are you about to implement a drug-testing program? Nowadays, the majority of companies find these screening programs essential in preserving the safety of their workers and deterring drug use.
Nevertheless, a drug testing policy can only be effective if employers ensure all employees and supervisors understand their responsibilities and the dangers of drug abuse. Training and assistance programs are highly recommended to companies looking to introduce such policies.
The following tips will assist you in implementing the best program.
Customize the program to the needs of your company
The inceptive thing to take into account when introducing a drug-testing program is matching it to your company’s requirements. After determining the exact reason for implementing such a policy, employers stand a better chance of customizing it to their specific needs. In some industries, employers are obliged to conduct such screening so as to adhere to federal laws. Go here for a better understanding of the random company drug testing policy.
Make sure you check the legal requirements in your state prior to developing a program. For instance, the U.S Department of Transportation imposes clear requirements regarding the drug testing policy for employees in this industry. Keep in mind that certain industries, such as the transportation and construction industry, impose more rigorous requirements in view of drug screening due to the detrimental impact of drugs and alcohol on the safety of workers.
Choose a type of screening
The following step of implementing a drug-testing program is selecting the right screening method. Given the popularity of these programs, it’s no wonder drug testing providers have expanded the range of screening methods, including mouth swabs, urine, hair, breath alcohol tests, etc. Mouth swab tests are the most convenient to perform, but hair follicle tests are known for providing the most accurate results.
Apart from pre-employment testing, a large number of employers implement a few more methods embodied in their screening programs. For example, employers looking to discourage workers from substance abuse can include random drug testing in their program, whereas those keen on providing assistance to addicts by not firing them right away should select a follow-up or return-to-duty screening method.
Besides choosing the right screening methodology, employers are expected to make a choice of the substances they’ll test the employees for. Companies are advised to use a panel test including various substances like methadone, marihuana, amphetamines, cocaine, opioids, barbiturates, CBD oil, etc. See this link, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000792.htm, to learn more about the types of illegal amphetamines, their harmful effects, addictive nature, and treatment options.
Set up a written policy
Once employers select the best screening methods for their companies, the next step requires setting up a written policy to clearly define their regulations regarding substance abuse testing. It’s paramount for the policy to abide by the state laws, which are constantly changing. Also, a medical disclosure policy should be included by employers whose employees work in accident-prone positions.
Such a medical policy is essential for informing business owners about the influence of certain prescription drugs on the safety of workers. Consequently, whenever a worker uses such a prescription, the employer should find an alternative job position for him/her for the time being.
Moreover, a clear written policy is supposed to explain the consequences for workers whose substance abuse screens end up positive. The approach you select should be fair and in accordance with your business philosophy. Some companies waste no time in terminating the contracts of employees who failed the drug test, while others use warnings before termination.
In contrast, some firms suspend such employees and subject them to a follow-up test after a given timeframe. Other companies are more generous by allowing workers to keep their workplaces as long as they agree to take part in the assistance program of the company. Irrespective of the approach you choose, make sure it’s distinctly explained in the written policy to avoid legal issues.
Train your employees and supervisors
After setting up a written policy, it’s time to introduce everyone in the company to the policy’s details. In order for national drug testing programs to be successful, employees and supervisors are supposed to be aware of their rights and responsibilities. Workers should be educated about the harmful effects of drugs on their work performance, as well as the rules they need to adhere to while working in the firm. They should also be able to recognize the symptoms of substance abuse in their colleagues so as to inform their supervisors in case of noticing suspicious behavior.
Supervisors should be in charge of noticing even the slightest symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse in their employees. Consequently, they need to gain insight into the physical, behavioral, and psychological signs of using addictive substances. The physical signs are easy to notice, as workers would sweat, shiver, shake, fidget, have bloodshot eyes, sleep while at work, etc.
Behavioral signs become obvious over time, as employees are more absent than present at work, late most of the time, and less productive than before. Additionally, social distancing is another sign to look out for, especially in workers known for their sociable personality.
Last but not least, psychological signs are worth taking into account. Employees under drug influence exhibit moody behavior, get easily frustrated, laugh uncontrollably, have no concentration, etc. Noticing any of these signs is reasonable cause to ask a worker to get tested.
Introduce an assistance program
Employers prepared to lend a hand to workers coping with substance abuse are suggested to implement an assistance program. For example, such a program would include removing the employee temporarily from his/her job position and have him/her evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional. Afterward, the person will be required to attend a treatment program, followed by a return-to-duty test, which he/she will have to pass in order to get back to work.
Make sure you implement a successful program designed to help every worker willing to give up drugs.
It’s worth the effort!