One of the most important tools employers have, to deter drug use in the workplace, is creating a random drug testing policy and implementing a program. Although there is much to consider, and employers may be left with the questions of where to begin, or how to make the implementation smoothly and efficiently, it is a task that will produce many benefits. This article looks at some of the key aspects of a random program and asks the questions employers should consider.
Objectives of Random Drug Testing
What should your goal be for implementing a random program? Maybe you have noticed employee behavior that warrants more reasonable suspicion testing lately, trends of drug use in the local area or your specific industry has shown signs of increased drug use? Do you have a client or contract that is requiring you to implement a random testing program? Or is it simply that you want to deter drug use and make the work environment safer and more efficient? Whatever the reason, a random testing can ensure you are taking the steps necessary to diversify your program and combat drug use in the workplace.
Benefits of Random Drug Testing
When random testing is done correctly it can be a deterrent to drug use because the fear of any employee being pulled at any given time for a drug test is unannounced until the time of testing. Other benefits can include:
- Helping to reduce healthcare costs and claims
- Reduced accidents and job-related injuries
- Increasing productivity
- Decreased absenteeism
- Safer more efficient workforce and environment
Is there language in your current policy about random testing, do you need to have your policy modified to include language to implement these changes. If so, there may be additional things to consider, such as notifying employees of the change, waiting periods, and limitations that are state specific.
How Often, and Type of Testing
Random selections for non-DOT companies are usually completed on a quarterly basis and mimic DOT protocol but can be done anyway a company chooses. Selections and testing should consistent as to the frequency and number of random tests completed per period. These tests can be based on a set number or by a percentage of employees for that period. The testing should be sporadic and done throughout the chosen time frame to be as unpredictable as possible. A good example would be a company chooses to do a quarterly random selection of 30 employees at the beginning of the quarter and does 10 random tests per month to complete testing during that quarterly period.
The type of testing is another thing to consider. You may want to differ in your pre-employment and random testing, you may choose to test for more or less substances in your random testing, you may look at conducting a random urine test instead of a pre-employment hair test, or you may want to combine a saliva and urine test into your random testing. Do you want the testing to be completed on-site versus sending employees to a test clinic? This could be time saving for the employee and more productive than sending them to a clinic. This will also add to the element of surprise.
Managing Random Testing
Who is going to manage the random testing? Will someone in your company handle the task of documenting selections, ensure testing is completed, documenting results, etc. or will you have a third-party administrator (TPA) help manage this for you? At any rate it is important to keep current records and documentation of employees, random selections, and test results. It is best to ensure the use of software or random generator to avoid accusations of bias.
Benefits of Program Management
It is always a good time to implement a random program. Of course, this can be an incredibly time-consuming process for employers. You may simply not have the time to manage and upgrade your drug and alcohol testing policy on top of everything else you must do to run your business. That is where we come in. At Fastest Labs, we proudly offer comprehensive program design, including drug and alcohol program management for employers. There are many reasons to consider ongoing program management services with Fastest Labs. Not only can we help you enact the most efficient and effective drug and alcohol testing for your business, we can also make the process stress-free by handling every aspect of your program. Our team will work with you every step of the way, offering answers to your questions and addressing your concerns. We are here and ready to serve your company needs.