Drug testing in the workplace can be a sensitive matter for some employees. Certainly, there are advantages and disadvantages of workplace drug testing. However, if you really want to ensure the overall health and safety of your workers, then implementing a drug testing policy could be the way.
How do you implement one without garnering resentment from employees who fear for an invasion of privacy? How can you make it more effective? Below are some steps you can follow:
1. Create a written anti-drug abuse policy and distribute it
It is important to let employees know that a company will be conducting a drug testing program tailored for them. Although it is not precisely mandated by law to have a drug testing policy, a company may do or require one depending on their line of work.
To create this policy, first off, it should state the reason why the company is establishing such. Mainly, it is due to health and safety reasons as well as to create a sound environment for the employees. It should also state what the employees must do to comply and the consequences for not following the policy.
2. Select a reliable drug testing lab
Find a lab appropriate enough to attend to you and your employees. To ensure that your workers are in safe hands, seek for ones that have SAMHSA certification. You must also be assured that the results are kept in confidentiality and delivered to you professionally.
3. Have a record keeping system
When you do a drug testing in the workplace, it is important to document the entire process so the company can protect themselves in the circumstance of litigation. That is why it is best to have a record keeping system that will automate the drug screening processes from notification to the final result analysis. This shows that a company is unbiased when conducting tests by the policy.
4. Process for collecting samples
You can choose a preferred method when it comes to collecting samples like urine, oral fluids, or hair. One option is to have a testing company officer to collect the samples with drug testing kits, following the strictest procedures of custody. Next, they will take these samples to the testing laboratory for the analysis.
Or, the employer can collect the samples themselves. Again, it is important to adhere to the chain of custody process to make sure that it is legally defensible.
A chain of custody consists of a form that has barcodes linking a specimen to the paperwork; a packaging secured enough for transit towards the testing laboratory; sample containers that cannot easily tamper; and lastly, a final check upon arrival to ensure that the chain of custody is still intact.
5. Spread awareness to the entire staff
This is a chance to educate the management and employees about the effects of drugs, especially in the workplace. Integrate situation-driven examples to show the workers how important it is for them not to come to work under the influence of drugs. Other ways you can help spread awareness are by providing free educational seminars, lectures about what different drugs look like, and more.