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What Are the Signs to Look For? | Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

Occupational Health

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As an HR administrator, your day is filled with difficult, sometimes painful decisions. Since you’re required to keep a constant eye on overall workplace safety as well as the health of the organization itself, these decisions are an important part of your responsibilities. Perhaps no other situation is more stressful and serious than those times when an employee is suspected of drug use while on the job. This behavior poses a significant threat to the safety and security of the employee, their coworkers and the entire company. When these moments arise, having reliable reasonable suspicion drug testing procedures in place can prove to be extremely valuable. With nearly a decade in the field, Origin can be an indispensable partner in helping you establish and maintain those procedures to keep your workplace and workforce safe and secure.

What Is Reasonable Suspicion Testing?

When management has direct or indirect proof that an employee might be using drugs or alcohol while on duty, reasonable suspicion testing, sometimes known as cause drug testing, can be performed to see if the suspicions were correct. The underlying proof can be as obvious as visual confirmation of drug use or possession, but it may also manifest as erratic behavior or inability to perform job duties.

How Is Reasonable Suspicion Defined?

Reasonable suspicion isn’t always a well-defined concept. In fact, since it is discretionary in nature, only workplaces that are subject to federally mandated drug testing are given specific definitions and procedures to follow. For organizations that do not fall under the federal mandate, both the definition and measures regarding reasonable suspicion drug testing are particular to each individual company. For this reason, working with a partner that has an expertise in the matter and is familiar with the sensitive yet important nature of the testing can be of significant benefit to an HR department.

What Are the Signs to Look For?

Sometimes, sign of drug or alcohol use can be as obvious as an employee actually seeing another employee in possession of or consuming the substance. However, most of the time, the evidence is in behavioral patterns, physical symptoms or poor job performance. Common physical signs include:

  • Breath or body smells of alcohol
  • Speech is slurred or excessively deliberate
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Unable to complete normal tasks without difficulty
  • Easily confused
  • Behaves in an unusual or erratic manner

Of course, there are many other signs to look for, but, as is often the case with delicate subjects, deciding when to take action will be at your team’s discretion. Whatever your definition and procedures may be, however, it is vital that all employees understand them, can readily access the information and feel comfortable enough to voice any questions as they arise. This transparency is absolutely essential in protecting employees and the organization from possible damage. Furthermore, ongoing training on the topic can ensure that the information is understood and absorbed by employees and management.

Origin Can Be an Indispensable Partner in Difficult Circumstances

Sensitive subjects often require experts that are well-versed in providing sensitive solutions. With nearly a decade in the field, Origin can provide support and training solutions to make your reasonable suspicion procedures straightforward and effective for your organization’s specific needs. With a wealth of knowledge regarding best practices and program administration, OriginOne can help you develop and maintain a reliable set of reasonable suspicion procedures that protect your employees and company from harm.

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