Substance Abuse Testing Policies and Procedures
While the use of drugs and alcohol may seem like a purely personal issue, the truth is that substance abuse commonly seeps into the everyday operations of most businesses. After all, those who use or sell drugs don’t drop their habits once they leave home and arrive at their jobs every morning. According to a 2007 study by the U.S. Department of Labor, of the 17.4 million current illegal drug users age 18 and older, 13.1 million of them – 75 percent – were employed. By the same token, of 55.3 million adult binge drinkers, those who drink large amounts of alcohol with the intent of getting drunk, nearly 80 percent were also regularly employed. These statistics bring about the realization that it’s important for companies to establish safeguards against drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace.
The HireSafe Drug and Alcohol Policy Manual offers customizable policy and procedures required by general contractors and government projects for high hazard jobs. It includes supervisor and employer training information. This is applicable for both general industry and construction purposes. Both English and Spanish employee training manuals and testing materials are included. Supervisor Awareness Training is available through an online instructional program with certification upon successful completion.
Starting a drug-testing program is not a simple process. A testing program must be developed in accordance with relevant legal requirements (which vary in their application to particular workplaces), for instance, disability discrimination provisions and collective bargaining requirements. In view of the complexity of these issues, top management will probably want to consult a lawyer who knows about drug-testing before developing a program.
Employee Assistance Program
Employees and their household members may use EAPs to help manage issues that could adversely impact their work and personal lives. EAP counselors typically provide assessment, support, and if needed, referrals to additional resources. These programs are becoming increasingly more common in today's worksites, and as the field grows, the responsibilities of employee assistance professionals are expanding as well. The issues for which EAPs provide support vary, but examples include
- Substance abuse
- Safe working environment
- Emotional distress
- Health care concerns
- Other work relationship issues
In some circumstances, an employee may be advised by management to seek EAP assistance due to job performance or behavioral problems. This practice has been thought to raise concerns for some, who believe that the EAP may place the employer's interests above the health and well-being of the employee. However, when done properly and with a highly qualified vendor, both the employer and the employee benefit. In fact, the goal of these supervisory referrals is to help the employee retain their job and get assistance for any problems or issues that may be impacting their performance.