Aside from the obvious legal reasons, drug testing can help your company avoid problems that may occur if an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes avoiding costly lawsuits and reducing the risk of customer accidents.
Pre-employment screening tests can be done using urine, hair, saliva (oral fluid), or sweat samples. Periodic tests can also be administered.
Avoiding Potential Risks
Many jobs have potential hazards, including those requiring heavy machinery or working in dangerous areas. It’s essential that those employees can perform their jobs well and aren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A drug test for employment can help keep these workers safe and ensure the safety of everyone in the company.
Employers should be aware of a few risks associated with drug testing. First, it’s essential that the testing is done correctly. This means using an accredited laboratory and having a Medical Review Officer (MRO) interpret results. This helps to avoid false positives, which can occur when a person hasn’t used the substance in a long time.
Another risk is that the test may deter some applicants. This could make them refrain from drinking or taking drugs in advance of a job interview, which can affect their performance. However, this can be avoided by simply being upfront about the test and explaining that it’s part of the hiring process.
Employers should also consider other options for testing in addition to pre-employment screening. For example, a hair sample can detect substance use from up to a month ago, which helps see sedatives and stimulants. This type of testing can be done regularly, often in conjunction with required annual physicals.
Keeping All Employees Safe
Drug testing is one of the most important ways to keep employees safe in various work environments. It encourages them to avoid using drugs or alcohol in the workplace, and it also helps them stay clean after they finish a treatment program. This benefits companies by reducing worker’s comp costs, decreasing absenteeism and turnover rates, and cutting down on accidents and damages to equipment and property.
The most common way to test for drugs in the workplace is urinalysis. This involves providing a sample of urine for analysis at a lab. It can detect many different types of drugs, including opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, and marijuana.
It is often combined with a breathalyzer, which can detect the presence of alcohol in the body. Other forms of testing include saliva, hair, and sweat samples. These tests are typically used in conjunction with a company’s policy on substance abuse and require an employee to agree to them before being hired.
Another option is for an employer to use “reasonable suspicion” to test an employee for drugs. This can be triggered by physical signs, like slurred speech or an unsteady gait; behavioral or emotional changes, such as unexplained changes in demeanor, unexplained anger, and lack of focus; or evidence that an employee is using drugs or alcohol on the job, such as being found with drug paraphernalia.
Keeping a Positive Company Culture
Drug testing is an effective way to deter the use of illegal or addictive substances in a workplace environment. Employees who are under the influence of drugs can become distracted or unfocused, which negatively impacts productivity and morale. Periodic drug tests on a predictable schedule help employees work in the right mindset and physical condition to perform their jobs well.
A regular drug test can also prevent accidents in the workplace that could cost the company a lot of money. This includes potential legal fees, worker’s compensation claims, and equipment repair or replacement costs. It has been shown that companies can save up to $81 billion annually due to drug-related workplace accidents.
A standard method of testing for drugs is through a saliva sample. This test can detect the presence of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and many other substances that can cause impairment. This type of testing is typically conducted if a manager or supervisor has reasonable suspicion that an employee is using drugs on the job.
Reasonable doubt is generally based on direct observation or the finding of illicit substances or paraphernalia. However, critics of drug screening argue that this is an invasion of privacy and that employers should not be able to discriminate against job applicants based on their habits.
Avoiding False Positives
The main disadvantage of using drug tests in the hiring process is that they can sometimes produce false positives. This is not uncommon since drugs that are ingested in the body often linger in the system and can trigger a positive result on a test.
These could include things like certain foods and some over-the-counter medications. In this scenario, the most important thing to remember is that the company should always be consistent with its testing methods and protocols. Also, they must follow all federal and state laws regarding what steps to take depending on the results of a screen.
It can be devastating to get a good candidate through the hiring process only to find out that they will not be hired because their drug screening came back with a positive result for a substance they did not have in their system. This can lead to many issues that hurt employee morale and make the company look bad.
Workplace drug testing is an effective tool for weeding out troublesome candidates. It can help keep employees safe and protect the company from any legal issues in the event of a work-related accident caused by an employee. It can also save the company money by reducing potential costs from worker’s compensation claims, insurance fees, and any damage to customer property or equipment.