To promote drug free workplace an effective drug testing program should be implemented on the employees as it not only maximizes their levels of productivity, but it also decreases employee turnover and absenteeism. This article explores the types of employee drug testing and how to implement successful workplace drug testing program.

  • Clearly define and set objectives: For any organization it is highly recommended to conduct drug testing program. Conducting drug testing program at workplace helps in reducing absenteeism, prevents workplace accidents, improves work performance, reduces compensation claims and keeps healthy and safe work environment. For this the employer should clearly define and set objectives. After setting the objectives, inform all the employees about the importance of drug testing program or give a handbook.
  • Types of employee drug testing at workplace: Employee drug testing is broadly categorized into 5 types – Pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing, post accident drug testing, reasonable suspicion drug testing and periodic drug testing.
    • Pre-employment drug testing: This type of drug testing helps the employer to prevent from hiring the applicant who uses drugs. In general, the test is conducted on the applicant who has been offered the job. The employer should notify the applicant about the drug testing program as a mandatory rule. If the results are negative the applicant will not be hired.
    • Random drug testing: In this type of testing, employees are randomly picked based on the computer generated results. Each employee of the organization has an equal chance of being selected for testing whether the person is recently tested or not. This test is performed without any prior notice. This test is mandatory for those employees especially who work in critical positions like handling big machines, driving vehicles and others.
    • Post accident drug testing: This type of drug testing is done to know the factors responsible for the accident (personal injury or property damage) at workplace. In general, this test can be conducted within 12 hours of accident. By conducting the test the employer gets to know whether the accident was due to drugs or it was just an accident.
    • Reasonable suspicion drug testing: This testing is done when the manager or supervisors finds signs and symptoms in an employee of drug use. But, if the employer fails to show valid reason for suspicion, it can turn to liability. Therefore, it is very important to have clear definitions of what type of behavior justifies the drug testing.
    • Periodic drug testing: Generally this type of drug testing is done on an annual basis. Employees will be notified about this test in prior. Hence, it is more accepted test than unannounced tests.
  • Keep the test results confidential: The test results should be kept confidential to respect the privacy rights of the employees. This makes the employees feel better among the co-workers.
  • Use quality and reliable drug testing kits: Use reliable and quality drug testing kits, especially the ones that are approved by FDA. Because the results are accurate.

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