Drug Use in the Workplace Business Prevention Tips

Business Prevention Tips
Drug Use in the Workplace
Every employee has the right to work in a safe environment. Today, probably the most
serious threats to this environment, America’s productivity and employees’ well being
are problems with alcohol and other drugs.
According to Edward Poole, president and COO of OHS Health & Safety Services Inc.,
there are 14 steps to a successful drug-free workplace program:
1 Prepare a written "drug-free workplace" policy for your legal protection and provide a
copy for all employees. Have the employee acknowledge their review and understanding
of the policy and have the employee sign the acknowledgement along with the date. The
acknowledgement should be placed in the employees personnel file. Such a policy should
have the following elements: statement of purpose; coverage and implementation; scope
of testing; definitions of terms used; alcohol and drug-free workplace program; alcohol
policy; legal drugs defined; illegal drugs defined; education and training required for
supervisors and employees; substances to be screened; procedure for the collection of
specimens; initial screening and test confirmation process; test results/reporting
procedure/employee's right to retest; action level for "positive" test results; additional
consequences for violation of the company's drug and alcohol policy; reservation of
rights; identification of substance abusers; pre-employment, random, reasonable
suspicion, post-accident and return-to-duty testing procedures; consequences of a refusal
to submit to testing; testing after rehire; disciplinary action; employee responsibilities
under the policy and a contact person.
2. Post "We Are a Drug-Free Workplace" or similar signs in areas where employees
routinely travel and can easily be seen. Post similar signs where job applicants can see
3. Circulate substance-abuse prevention education materials (e.g., pamphlets/videos) to
all supervisors, managers and other employees annually. A short reminder notice of your
drug free workplace company policy should be included inside pay envelopes at least
once per calendar quarter.
4. Perform pre-employment drug testing on every new hire. Those testing "positive" for
drugs should have their employment offer immediately rescinded no matter how qualified
they might otherwise appear to be for the position and no matter how badly you need to
fill the position.
5. Include a statement - "Employment subject to passing a drug test" or "We drug test all
new hires" - in all help-wanted advertisements.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - Crime Prevention
601 East Trade Street  Charlotte, NC 28202
For more information, visit www.cmpd.org or call us at 704.336.2310
6. Randomly drug test at least 50 percent of your employee base annually. Depending on
the number of employees, perform random testing at least monthly or weekly.
7. Test an employee for "reasonable suspicion" whenever reasonable cause is justified by
virtue of their display of any behavioral or physical indicators of drug-use, including a
dramatic change in work performance.
8. Arrange substance-abuse awareness training for supervisors and managers at least once
per year. Such training will help them to identify the indicators of drug-use among their
crew and teach them the most effective methods of isolating and preventing a possible
drug-use related workplace problem before it becomes a crisis.
9. "Post-accident" drug test an employee whenever justified by serious injury,
damaged/loss of property, or life. At least 40 states will consider a denial of workers'
compensation benefits when an accident is caused by your employee whose post-accident
drug test is positive for illicit drugs. The majority of those 40 states also will consider a
denial of unemployment benefits for that same reason.
10. Use only federal/state certified labs for the analysis of all specimens that are sent to a
11. Have all specimens that initially test "positive" (including those based upon results of
on-site drug test devices or kits) re- tested by a certified lab.
12. Utilize the services of a medical review officer for all positive results.
13. Ensure that all test results of employees are kept strictly confidential! Inform only
those with a "need to know" of final drug test results and maintain all results with strict
14. Impose all terms of the written testing policy strictly, fairly and equally with all
American Crime Prevention Institute; The Complete Commercial and Retail Crime Prevention Manual; First Edition, June 2006,
appendix 3, pgs 215-217.
There are ways to get help for an individual you suspect has an alcohol or other drug
problem. Talk to someone who can help - The Employee Assistance Program, the
Human Resources Department or a supervisor. In a confidential manner, they discuss
with the individual poor job performance, company policy regarding problems with
alcohol and other drugs and treatment alternatives.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - Crime Prevention
601 East Trade Street  Charlotte, NC 28202
For more information, visit www.cmpd.org or call us at 704.336.2310