You want to keep your business and your workforce safe. And you realize routine drug screening discourages employees from reporting to work under the influence. So, how frequently should you run those drug screening tests?
Factors to Consider When Setting the Frequency of Drug Screening Tests
- A Nationwide Increase in Positive Drug Tests
Quest Diagnostics reported a 25 percent uptick in failed workplace drug tests from 2010 to 2018. Therefore, you should assume some of your employees may be abusing legal or using illegal substances. Especially, in safety-sensitive jobs, this could be reason enough to develop an ongoing screening strategy.
- Laws & Regulations
Depending on federal, state, local or industry regulations, drug tests may be required or restricted. For example, mandatory drug screening for CDL truck drivers includes pre-employment and random testing. If you’re not sure what the rules are, check in with your screening provider or legal counsel.
- Employee Morale
Constant testing could damage morale if your employees feel as though you don’t trust them. However, a preventable substance-related workplace accident could be devastating too. In the end, you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons when establishing the best screening model.
- Company Culture
Some organizations embrace a drug-free workplace. Others are more tolerant of casual use. Ultimately, your business’s values should influence your screening policies.
You will have to pay a fee for each drug test you run. Depending upon the frequency and the number of employees, this could add up. On the other hand, substance abuse costs businesses billions of dollars each year in lost productivity alone. Again, you’ll need to find the happy medium between these two scenarios.
Different Drug Screening Models
- Pre-Employment Tests
Organizations may refuse to hire candidates who don’t pass a drug screen. This may be a one-time test or the first step in an ongoing process.
- Annual Physical Tests
Annual drug screenings usually are part of a yearly physical exam. Of course, companies must inform workers of this policy.
- Random Tests
With random tests, any employee could be asked to complete a drug screening at any time. Employees need to be aware of the policy and selection process must be random. This can be an effective way to continually discourage drug and alcohol abuse, but in some cases, state/industry regulations place restrictions on regular screening.
- For-Cause or Reasonable Suspicion Tests
If an employee appears unfit for duty (for-cause) or if they have a documented pattern of unsafe work behavior (reasonable suspicion), organizations may require a drug screen. This type of testing is preventive while not subjecting everyone to constant screening
- Post-Accident Tests
Drug testing after a safety incident can help to determine if substance abuse was a contributing factor. Although this could be viewed as too little, too late, it does help to hold workers responsible for their actions.
Is Your Company Looking for a Drug Screening Provider?
Metrodata Services Inc. can assist your organization with your pre-employment and ongoing drug testing needs. We would be happy to develop a customized screening package, so you can make the best-possible hiring decisions and keep your business safe. Contact us today to learn more!