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Best practices for your workplace drug testing 

No doubt the statistics associated with workplace drug use are quite alarming. Some studies have revealed that at least 70 percent of about 15 million employed Americans use illegal drugs. Worse still, workplace abuse of alcohol and drugs costs tons of money in losses related to lost productivity, low morale, crime, accidents, and many more. This is the reason why a drug free workplace is crucial for employers. 

Employee drug testing is a necessary tool that you can use to protect your employees and brand and establish a drug-free workplace that is suitable for everyone including you and your employees. Some drug testing practices can assist you to create and maintain a great drug screening program for your company. This article discusses the best practices for your workplace drug testing. 

Testing methods 

Some of the testing options you can use include hair, urine, saliva, sweat, and blood. Remember that the standard for drug testing your employees is the 5-panel urine drug test. This can screen for cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, and phencyclidine.

But if you have potential employees that are in safety-sensitive positions or who use specific medications, then you can evaluate and expand this testing panel. The good thing is that urine tests are quite affordable, quick, and reliable. This is why at least 90 percent of all drug tests that are done in the United States each year are conducted utilizing urine. 

With the other drug testing methods, accuracy, detection windows, and cost tend to be crucial considerations. Besides urine tests, saliva tests are also the most common, though their detection windows may take about 2 days. Blood testing is invasive and expensive, though it’s quite reliable when it comes to determining if your employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs right now. And, hair testing comes with the longest detection window, which can sometimes be up to 90 days. This method option is the least invasive but is quite expensive. The good thing is that hair tests can indicate a habitual drug use pattern, which other tests may not show. 

Therefore, you need to choose the proper workplace drug testing policy that covers the requirements of your specific industry. For instance, federally-mandated drug testing needs to be done using urine samples. And, most healthcare entities need an expanded drug testing panel when their workers are going to perform their duties with prescription medications.

Testing window

Many drug users usually try to fake out drug tests. Therefore, to have an effective drug testing policy, your drug policy must define a drug testing window that gives the employees or potential candidates a reasonable time to do the drug screen but there should not be enough time for them to beat the system. In such cases, twenty-four hours is regarded to be a great standard for job candidates. This gives them adequate time to go to the facility while staying within the screening window for many substances in urine tests. 

Also, random workplace drug tests and drug tests that follow reasonable suspicion of accidents or events may require a different time standard. Take note that these tests must also be conducted within a strict 1-3 hour window to make sure that they are effective. You need to ensure that your drug policy clearly states your time expectations when it comes to workplace drug screenings.  

Random testing

One of the best ways you can make sure that you have a drug-free workplace is to implement a random drug testing program. Random drug testing is a good practice, especially if your business is in the transportation industry. Some studies have indicated that random drug testing can prevent employees from abusing drugs or alcohol once you hire them.

To be effective, your random drug or alcohol testing program should consider doing the random selection. This gives each of your employees the same chance of being selected each round. You should note that even a staff member who was selected in the last round can have the sale selection odds in the following round. 

It should also have tight time windows. An employee who is selected for random drug testing needs to be tested right away. If your business premises do not have a collection site, the employee needs to be directed to the nearest site to do the drug test within 1 to 3 hours. 

It’s also crucial to have a fast lab turnaround time. Any positive tests need confirmation. Therefore, your drug testing lab has to accomplish this quickly because an employee who has tested positive cannot perform their duties. 

That said, there should also be conscientious compliance. Remember that drug testing laws can vary significantly. You need to work with a professional to make sure that your policies comply with local laws. You must also keep proper records of everything associated with drug tests, such as test notifications, results, and many more.  

Electronic tools

Electronic tools like scheduling apps and client portals can streamline the drug testing process and even make the experience for everyone smoother. You should remember that an accurate intelligent drug testing process is designed to assist you to make a complaint, and quick, and informed decisions so that you can have a healthy workforce. You can achieve this while complying with the relevant industry guidelines. 

A paperless system creates a closed loop and all relevant details can be stored in a single depository. This makes access to results, schedules, and compliance documents quite easy. 

Aside from this, electronic scheduling also offers various significant benefits, such as an insight into what happens when you place an order and the employee is notified to do the test. Also, it provides easy-to-locate drug test results and confirmation that the employee completed the drug test. Electronic tools can also give the candidates the tools that assist them to locate a site and schedule a drug test. 

In conclusion, the drug test policy for your company needs to be clear and consistent and should offer a detailed explanation of what your employees can expect. This makes it easier for your employees to understand what is expected of them. 

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