Studies have shown that establishing a drug testing program is a crucial element in maintaining a safe and productive work environment for employees and employers alike. Yet it’s not always as simple as putting together a basic concept and letting it run. In order to design a successful, cohesive drug testing program that is specially tailored to a businesses’ individual needs, there are important steps that must be taken. Here are five essential components required to create a sustainable drug testing program for your organization.
The first step to developing any type of corporate program will always start with analyzing and understanding your organization’s specific needs. Chances are, if management has started discussing the implementation of a drug testing program, there’s a reason.
In some situations, a drug-free workplace can be addressed by integrating a health and wellness program as opposed to a punitive program. But in order to understand the seriousness of the situation, the executive team should conduct a needs assessment to fully understand the types of substance misuse problems the company is facing.
Here are a few questions to discuss internally:
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, it’s highly probable that your organization needs to develop a complete drug testing program.
A physical drug-free workplace policy is foundational to building an effective drug and alcohol program. If there is no existing policy in place, start with any federal laws applicable to your industry.
For example, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed 49 CFR Part 40, which outlines the required procedures for conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing policies throughout the transportation industry.
A clear and consistent drug and alcohol policy will also cover a variety of topics, such as:
Regardless of how comprehensive your policy is upon creation, you will still need to regularly review and update it. After all, your business continues to evolve year after year: your internal policies and procedures should too!
As you begin to develop your organization’s drug testing program, you’ll notice that today’s technology offers a variety of testing methodologies and options. From urine testing to saliva testing to hair sampling, you’ll want to determine which method of testing will work best to meet your company’s needs. Consider the costs, requirements, and accuracy levels when making this decision.
Once you’ve determined the type of tests your program will include, you will also need to decide at what intervals employees – or potential employees – will be tested. Many companies include pre-employment testing requirements in their drug testing programs, but depending on the industry requirements, your organization may also need to include random and other drug testing as well.
Another crucial component to the drug testing program is to maintain proper documentation at all times. From a legal perspective, doing so could save your business from significant legal costs. However, you can outsource this aspect to a third-party testing provider like Professional Drug Screening Services, Inc., to ensure records are kept up-to-date and readily available.
Effective supervision and training will play an important part in maintaining a strong drug testing program. Educate your management team to recognize patterns of behavior that are indicative of larger problems. Create a company culture that assists managers in referring employees to the right sources for help. And make sure every employee fully understands their responsibility to the company to adhere to the latest drug and alcohol policy.
Under the DOT requirements, an employer is required to have supervisors who undergo Substance Abuse Supervisor Training at least once. However, it’s a good idea to continue training over the years to ensure staff understand the ever-evolving drug and alcohol policy and procedures.
Perhaps the most important consideration falls on who your organization chooses to partner with to implement and uphold your drug testing program. Find a drug testing solutions provider who has consortia/third-party administrator (C/TPA) capabilities, so they can seamlessly consolidate company medical services and manage records. Make sure they have experience in your particular industry and fully understand the federal requirements, particularly if your company falls under the DOT. Find a well-rounded testing provider who can meet all of your company’s needs, both now and in the future.
Drug testing is crucial to your business, which is why you should be careful with who you trust to handle this service for your company.
Be sure to work with a full-service drug testing center that has a long history and heritage of high-quality, trustworthy results like Professional Drug Screening Services, Inc. With collection sites located across the United States, PDSS offers a wide range of testing services in accordance with the most up-to-date Department of Transportation federal guidelines and regulations. Visit our website for more information.