Day with DISA 2019 offered attendees a chance to learn more about the trending topics in the drug testing industry. Hosted by DISA Global Solutions, this annual drug testing symposium helps employers get advice from industry experts covering a wide array of drug testing topics. Employers were able to get help with building and implementing a drug testing policy to meet their specific compliance needs.
DISA’s President of Ethics & Compliance, Frank Bernard, partnered with Nina M. French, the Managing Partner of the Current Consulting Group to present “How to Build the Perfect Drug Testing Policy.” This session focused on solutions and best practices for employer’s common policy challenges, including the legalization of marijuana, prescription drugs, and alcohol in the workplace.
During the presentation, Frank and Nina outlined four main topics for employers to address when creating their policies, including state laws, the future of workplace testing, program innovation, and policies themselves.
State laws vary widely, and policy requirements do too. Employers should familiarize themselves with mandatory and voluntary laws, case laws, workers’ and unemployment compensation, industry-specific laws, and the laws regarding medical and recreational marijuana. As legislation on marijuana progresses in the country it is vital that employers stay vigilant with the updates in their state(s). A few examples of marijuana legislation that employers should keep an eye on include:
The Office of National Drug Control Strategy determined that 20 percent of young workers admit to using marijuana on the job, which should be a great cause of concern for employers especially for employees performing safety sensitive job functions.
As the legalization of marijuana progresses, employers risk is growing. This rapid change in laws is one of the reasons that building and implementing an adequate drug testing policy is so important. The National Safety Council determined that 81% of employers’ policies are incomplete, while 67% of policies do not adequately address employee prescription drug use and abuse. When creating a policy, employers should include information regarding the following:
According to the National Safety Council, safety-sensitive industries have the largest number of workplace injuries, including service, transportation/shipping, manufacturing/production, installation, maintenance, and repair, and construction. Because of this heightened risk, it is important for employers in these industries to customize their company program to limit their risk and protect their workforce.
Here are some things to consider when building your program:
Employers need to ask themselves exactly why they are testing to better establish a program that meets their business needs. The presentation advised that employers should determine who is subject to drug testing and under what circumstances testing is required, then address that in their program design. The design needs to address what types of drugs to test for, drug testing methodologies, Return-to-Duty programs, state law changes, and training requirements.
A clear and concise written policy is vital to ensuring the safety standards of your company. When creating a policy, employers should consider including elements such as:
Once written, the implementation of the policy is also vital to the program’s success. By following best practices for policy implementation and training, employers improve their return on investment through this improved success. And application of the policy is key. Once tests are administered, employers must have clearly defined consequences that are consistently applied. Employee and supervisor training and awareness are important in supporting the program and beneficial to all employers, regardless of the requirements under which they are mandated.
DISA’s Compliance Service Group can assist you with ensuring your drug testing policy meets compliance standards that are specific to your business and industry. DISA provides customized policies for all DOT modes, states and territories, and laws. In addition, DISA also offers training both online and in-person to help educate employees on safety standards and best practices on a variety of subjects. Our professionals will also provide audit support to better prepare you in the case of an audit, and also to help ensure compliance.
DISA can help! Get answers directly from DISA’s subject matter experts with ‘Ask DISA’.
Visit www.askdisa.com to ask your questions today!
Founded in 1987, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.