Reasons For Drug Testing
Drug testing is mandatory in many organizations. Individuals who want to work for such organizations or participate in their events must be drug-free. Drug tests are performed on employees, workers, athletes and sports persons. The purpose is to keep out people who take drugs for recreational or performance enhancement purposes. Such drugs are known to affect the user’s decision taking ability and physical performance. The person cannot perform the given task as required. It can lead to accidents and injuries. In sports, athletics and body building competitions, a drug user gains an unfair advantage over other participants. Employers, sports bodies and other organizations want to eliminate such risks. They want to choose a person who is fit physically and mentally. There are many reasons for performing drug tests.
It is the most common reason for drug testing. Employers do not want to hire drug users because such individuals cannot perform to the highest standards. In many industries, there are tasks that require critical thinking, attentiveness and quick decision taking ability. Drug users cannot be hired for such critical tasks. Employers operating in such industries are required by law to test a job applicant for drug use before employing the person. It is mandatory for positions that are safety sensitive.
When there is an accident at a workplace, the employees suspected to have caused it can be asked to undergo the drug test. The test helps determine if the cause of the incident was drug use by the employee. Most employers have established guidelines about how and when the drug test will be carried out. These tests are mandatory in accidents that lead to injuries, fatalities and/or damages. A drug test for this purpose must be performed within 12 hours of the accident because some types of drugs are difficult to detect in the body system after that many hours. It is important to know that a positive drug test result does not necessarily prove that the cause of the accident was drug use by an employee.
This type of drug tests is performed to make sure the workplace remains safe and productive. This drug test is required when an employee is suspected of drug use. There may be direct evidence or reasonable suspicion of the employee taking the drug. The evidence can come from many sources. The security camera recording can show it. A supervisor or co-worker observed it. The drug content was detected at the workplace. An employee has been showing abnormal behavior that shows signs of drug use. Employers must have trained supervisors who understand how to approach this matter carefully because an employee cannot be asked to undergo a drug test on mere suspicion. The terms and conditions of employment contract must include drug test even when there is only reasonable suspicion.
Returning to Duty
This type of drug test becomes necessary at places where safety cannot be compromised. Such drug tests are generally limited to employees who had earlier tested positive for drugs. It may be necessary for an employee who has refused the drug test or violated any drug rule. Companies can set their own guidelines for return-to-duty drug tests but in some industries where federally mandated employees are hired, the employer has to follow the federal drug test guidelines.
Spot Drug Test
This type of drug test is performed at random without any prior intimation to the employee. One or more employees may be selected at random to undergo the drug test. It helps avoid testing a large number of employees. It is an effective way to keep the pressure on the workforce to remain drug-free. They do not know which one of them can be called out to undergo the drug test. It helps avoid any complaint of bias in drug testing. All employees have the same probability of being selected for the drug test.
Drug testing ensures workplace safety not only for the employees but also for the passengers, customers, and clients. It reduces the risks of accidents and injuries. There is less absenteeism. It increases productivity. The company complies with federal and state laws that relate to workplace safety and drug tests. Lower accident rate improves a company’s quality of product or service. It helps build a strong brand reputation in the market.