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How to Post-Accident Drug Test your employees the Right Way

Occupational Health

Post accident drug testing, Post accident drug test, post-accident drug testing, accident, construction, OSHA

In May 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) implied that employers should not have a universal policy that requires post-accident drug testing after every workplace accident. Post-Accident drug testing focuses on finding out whether substance abuse played a role in the accident taking place. Your company policy should reflect your state and federal laws which are constantly changing. OSHA and other administrations directly affect how you keep your company compliant as well.

OSHA’s specific commentary is as follows:

“Although drug testing of employees may be a reasonable workplace policy in some situations, it is often perceived as an invasion of privacy, so if an injury or illness is very unlikely to have been caused by employee drug use, or if the method of drug testing does not identify impairment but only use at some time in the recent past, requiring the employee to be drug tested may inappropriately deter reporting”

OSHA also states:

“. . .the final rule does prohibit employers from using drug testing (or the threat of drug testing) as a form of adverse action against employees who report injuries or illnesses. To strike the appropriate balance here, drug testing policies should limit post-incident testing to situations in which employee drug use is likely to have contributed to the incident, and for which the drug test can accurately identify impairment caused by drug use. For example, it would likely not be reasonable to drug-test an employee who reports a bee sting, a repetitive strain injury, or an injury caused by a lack of machine guarding or a machine or tool malfunction. Such a policy is likely only to deter reporting without contributing to the employer’s understanding of why the injury occurred, or in any other way contributing to workplace safety.”

Company Policy

Your company policy should distinctly state your plan of action after an accident occurs. That way, your employees are aware and prepared for your Post-Accident drug testing process. Most importantly, your policy should stay compliant with your state and federal laws. Essentially, a well thought out and inclusive policy will explain, why a Drug and Alcohol Policy is in place, all circumstances that subject one to testing, what specimen is required for testing, and what disciplinary actions will be taken when tests are failed.

State and Federal Laws

Your policy must stay between the State and Federal laws that are applicable to your location and company. Below are examples of state laws that directly affect companies’ decision when constructing and implementing Drug and Alcohol Policies and Programs.

  1. 14 states prohibit hair testing
  2. 19 tests require re test option
  3. 12 states prohibit/limit random drug testing
  4. 6 (1 City) prohibit/limit observed collections
  5. 5 states do not allow post-accident tests
  6. 7 states limit discipline (firing for a positive test)

Companies that operate in the following states are in line with OSHAS stance on requiring that there must be substantial evidence and reasonable suspicion that an employee’s actions directly caused the accident before a post-accident test can be administered.

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida (voluntary law)
  • Georgia (voluntary law)
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi (voluntary law)
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia

 

An example when there would probably be substantial reasoning for conducting postaccident testing:

An employee is disregarding safety processes and becomes injured due to an action directly caused by not following routine operating procedures

An example when there probably would not be grounds for conducting postaccident testing:

An employee is lifting heavy material and hurts his/her back

Your Solution

Origin is a Third Party Administer capable of implementing a well drafted and up to date Drug and Alcohol Policy as well as tailor your drug and alcohol testing programs to your exact specifications. Origin will ensure that your policies and processes are carried out legally and commendably. Staying compliant with your continuously changing federal and state laws can become extremely difficult. However, with Origin you can relax knowing your company is compliant. Build trust within your company by putting safety first with Origin.

 

 

 

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