Substance abuse in the workplace threatens safety and costs businesses billions of dollars every year. Drug testing programs can help minimize these costs. Frontline supervisors play a key role in drug testing programs by identifying substance abuse and impairment on the job. By the end of the training, you will be able to identify the situations when drug and alcohol testing may be used, recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and intoxication on the job, determine when a drug test may be needed based on reasonable suspicion, assess an incident to determine whether a postaccident drug test is necessary, avoid using drug and alcohol testing as a form of discipline or retaliation against employees, and fulfill your responsibilities under the drug and alcohol testing program in a manner that protects safety while treating all employees with respect.
Why “Drug and Alcohol Testing: What Supervisors Need to Know” Matters:
Substance abuse in the workplace is a huge problem that threatens safety and costs businesses billions of dollars every year in lost productivity, workers’ compensation claims, absenteeism, medical costs, and more.
• Employees with a substance abuse problem are more likely to have an accident on the job, make more errors in their work, take more sick days, and be less productive than their coworkers.
• Supervisors play a key role in identifying impairment and substance abuse among employees that necessitate drug or alcohol testing.
• In order to effectively carry out their duties under a workplace drug testing program, supervisors need training in reasonable suspicion and postaccident drug testing.
• The four main categories of drug testing are prehire testing, random testing, reasonable suspicion testing, and postaccident testing.
• Reasonable suspicion determinations should be based on direct observations, not rumors or hearsay.
• Symptoms of substance use can include behaviors, speech patterns, odors, and appearance.
• Immediately remove an employee who seems to be intoxicated on the job from safety-sensitive tasks.
• Postaccident drug testing can be an important part of root cause analysis, but it’s not appropriate in all situations.
• Drug testing should never be used as discipline or retaliation.
• Always treat employees with respect and handle a potential drug testing situation calmly and discreetly.