Companies have many responsibilities and little time in which to take care of them. It can be easy for drug and alcohol testing to fall to the wayside.
At Bostec, we recognize that, and we design our training and services to accommodate businesses as much as possible.
A recent article from Occupational Health & Safety Magazine highlights this point perfectly. It lists the biggest mistakes that employers make in their workplace drug and alcohol testing.
Testing can be a minefield, and there are a number of ways to do it wrong. Bostec helps companies do it right.
Here’s how Bostec helps companies in Bellingham, Lynden and throughout the Pacific Northwest prevent common workplace drug and alcohol testing errors:
Mistake: Not having a written policy, or having a written policy that is vague.
Creating a drug-free workplace isn’t as simple as stating that drug use is banned. Without a clear, well-defined policy, employers often don’t have a leg to stand on when they try to enforce penalties for employees using drugs or alcohol — or even when they try to implement workplace drug and alcohol tests in the first place. A good, clear policy will explain exactly what tests are required of employees, how often they might occur, what types of drugs are being screened for, and more.
Mistake: Applying DOT requirements to non-DOT-regulated employees.
It might be tempting for employers to take a strict set of drug-testing guidelines and apply them to other industries. Bad idea. Overreaching in drug and alcohol tests can get an employer into trouble. Bostec offers testing advice that’s tailored to each company’s specific situation. We have experience helping companies set up drug policies that follow DOT guidelines, and we have experience with companies not regulated by DOT, too.
Mistake: Failing to conduct reasonable suspicion tests immediately.
When in doubt, test. Any time there’s an accident, any time there’s a near miss, any time an employee is suspected of being under the influence at work — test. The sooner the better, too, because any foreign substance in the employee’s system will constantly be metabolizing out. Even if the employee has a good-sounding excuse, it’s still best practice to conduct a test (according to your company’s clear and well-defined policy).
Mistake: Failing to recognize—and define—”refusing to test.”
Every company’s drug and alcohol policy should define what constitutes an employee’s refusal to take a drug or alcohol test. Supervisors should be properly trained to recognize refusals, and the policy should clearly explain what the consequences are for refusing to test.
Mistake: Failing to train supervisors.
Speaking of training—this is a critical component for any workplace drug and alcohol policy. Every person in a position of authority at the company should be trained to know exactly what the policy covers and how the policy should be enforced. They also should feel empowered to enforce the policy and to act on their well-founded suspicions.
With decades of experience conducting workplace trainings and helping businesses craft ironclad drug and alcohol policies, Bostec helps employers avoid mistakes like these in their own workplace policies.
For help with tests, trainings and policies at your company, just give Bostec’s trained experts a call.