There are several different types of
employer drug testing programs. Check your State/Local and union contract
limitations before instituting any drug testing program
Test all full-time and part-time applicants who are considered for a
position. Applicants who test positive will not be considered suitable for
employment. Post-accident Employees are tested if they:
• are involved in on-the-job accidents;
• engage in unsafe behavior or activities
on the job;
• pose a danger to themselves or others;
• pose a danger to the overall operation
of the company.
Appropriate disciplinary action is taken
when tests results are positive.
Employees are tested on the basis of:
• direct observation of drug use or the
physical symptoms of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol;
• abnormal conduct or erratic behavior
while at work; or
• absenteeism, tardiness or deterioration
in work performance which is continuous and repeated over time.
Periodic retesting of employees who have acknowledged substance abuse
problems and have participated in or completed substance abuse treatment or
rehabilitation programs may be mandated.
Random substance abuse testing is most likely to identify any abusers in the
workplace. Selection must include everyone within the company. Everyone
should have an equal chance of being selected so there is no chance for
subjectivity, favoritism, or manipulation of the process. This option should
be implemented with great caution and not without legal counsel.
Announced testing is typically implemented during the annual physical which
includes a drug test as one of the many medical tests or procedures. Several
issues must be given serious consideration before a testing policy is
adopted. A company may choose to have an outside laboratory perform all of
the company ’s drug testing or to perform testing on-site. When considering
an outside laboratory for testing, the company should verify that the
laboratory is a US Department of Health and Human Services National
Laboratory certified program. If on-site testing is chosen, it is necessary
to have a qualified staff person available to operate the equipment. Also,
the testing area must be secured from unauthorized entry and must have a
refrigerator and adequate air conditioning. Positive test results obtained
in on-site testing should be confirmed by an outside laboratory using an
alternative method of testing.
Prior to testing, it is important for the
employer to receive written consent to test and to release the test results
only to appropriate personnel. An outside laboratory can perform all of a
company’s testing so as to minimize the possibility of sample mishandling.