• How to Come Up with Effective Drug-free Workplace Policy

    One way to address drug abuse in the workplace is to create a drug-free workplace policy. Every establishment has a different policy. A drug-free workplace policy should always comply with the existing laws and regulations of the state. When creating a drug-free workplace policy, organizations should take into consideration factors like the nature of their business and job vacancies, values, and priorities.

    An ineffective drug-free workplace policy can cause waste of money, lives, and opportunities. Hence, this article will walk you through the several steps on how to come up with an effective drug-free workplace program as suggested by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association (SAMSHA).

    1. Determine the purpose of a drug testing policy

    An effective drug-free workplace policy can serve a lot of purpose. Determine the reason why your organization needs to put up a drug-free workplace program. Is it because a certain law requires your organization to create a drug-free workplace policy? Or is it because your organization’s insurance carrier requires you to abide with their rules as an insurance grantee? You must have a purpose why your organization needs a drug testing policy. Once you are able to determine the purpose of your program, you will be able to clearly define your objectives – the most important part of the drug-free workplace program that will lead you on creating a successful implementation strategy for your drug testing policy.

    2. Know the basic elements of a  drug testing policy

    An effective drug-free workplace policy should outline the state’s requirements on workplace drug policies, background or history of the organization, goals of the policy, expected outcomes and specific prohibitions, techniques of effective implementation, and consequences and appeals. It should also define the drug testing policy as means of ensuring safety and an assurance of a drug-free workplace for employees.

    3. Be resourceful

    Every organization that aims to create a drug testing policy to achieve a drug-free workplace should always make sure that the policy meets the needs of the employees and the organization. Evaluate the nature of your business to determine the extent of drug test you can perform to tackle your company’s goals and address specific concerns. For instance, you may consider a drug testing that will address the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal substances to prevent the negative outcomes of drug use, such as habitual absence and poor work performance.

    Look for existing models of a drug-free workplace program from the national, regional, or local level to help you create an effective drug testing program. Familiarize yourself with your city and state’s labor practices and federal laws on drug testing, so that you will be able to cover your employees’ legal rights while protecting your business’ interest.

    4. Ask a lawyer to review the drug testing policy

    To keep you on the safe side it is important to have your drug testing policy checked by a lawyer. Ask for a legal expert to assess the drafted policy. Evaluate the effectiveness of the policy, correct its flaws, and suggest better ideas in accordance with the federal and state laws. An experienced corporate lawyer will be able to help in making the drug testing policy remain fair to both employers and employees by evaluating its legal, health, safety, and productivity aspects.

    5. Prepare the workplace

    After the finalization and approval of the policy, part of an effective implementation of a drug-free workplace policy is to educate employees with the new rules. An employer should ensure that new employees are oriented with the company’s existing drug testing policy before their official first day at work. The purpose of this is to avoid possible negative behaviors that may threaten the safety of all employees in the workplace. An organization may also conduct forums, workshops, and training to inform employees of the new drug testing policy and make them adhere to it. As part of the training, the organization should ensure that supervisors will be well-informed on how to effectively communicate and fairly enforce the policy to their subordinates.


    6. Determine the issues and provide assistance

    In order to be effective, a drug-free workplace policy should not only state the dos and don’ts in employee drug testing, but also state that the supervisors will remain vigilant to any health and safety issues in the workplace. The policy may also assert that there will be an annual review for the work performance as part of the organization’s data gathering and policy effectiveness evaluation. Additionally, it may discuss specific types of assistance programs that can be extended to employees who are found to be affected by drug abuse and workplace related hazards.

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    Categories: Workplace Drug Testing

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