To combat drug abuse in the workplace, employers have several ways to secure a safer working environment. A clear, concise, and comprehensive drug testing policy is critical, but employers also need to ensure their management is trained to identify drug and alcohol abuse on the job as soon as it begins.
Reasonable suspicion drug testing is often included as part of a company's comprehensive drug testing policy, allowing employers to drug test an employee based off of evidence of drug use, (e.g., signs, symptoms, and behaviors) under direct observation. This is an added level of protection that remains in effect long after the initial pre-employment screening to continue to deter employees from using in the first place.
When to Implement a Reasonable Suspicion Drug Test
If an employee is suspected to be under the influence, then a trained supervisor or manager may observe the employee using the signs below to help them determine if a reasonable suspicion drug test should be administered. Any time an employer feels it is necessary to administer a reasonable suspicion drug test, all information should be documented to meet compliance standards. The following are valid reasons to conduct a reasonable suspicion test:
What Can Employers Do?
When creating and implementing a comprehensive drug testing policy employers should include reasonable suspicion testing to prevent drug abuse in the workplace. This should be an addition to other methods of testing, such as pre-employment, random, post-accident, and Return-to-Duty (RTD).
“Employers have the opportunity to customize their company drug testing policy to ensure safe hires and prevent accidents from happening. An insufficient policy can compromise your company and employee’s safety, which is truly not worth the risk.”
– Frank Bernard VP of Compliance and Administration at DISA Global Solutions
DISA offers reasonable suspicion training to help companies maintain a safe working environment by ensuring that your Designated Employee Representative (DER), along with other managerial staff are fully prepared to address drug abuse and use in the workplace. When paired with other drug testing methodologies, proper documentation, and properly trained supervisors, reasonable suspicion drug testing will strengthen a company’s drug testing policy.
Here are a few best practices your company can follow when implementing reasonable suspicion drug testing in the workplace:
Creating an all-encompassing drug testing policy helps to decrease absenteeism, accidents, and turnover, while increasing company morale and productivity.
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Founded in 1987, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 30 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.