Recommended Workplace Drug Testing Policies and Procedures (continued)
7. All types of and occasions for drug testing should be conducted uniformly and impartially among all employees, of which the latter should also be made aware.
8. Many professional organizations mandate a solid policy on business ethics, and drug testing procedures must be carried out in privacy, whether in the health unit or clinic of a workplace or in a doctor’s office selected by the employer on the basis of suitability for urine testing purposes.
9. The most common method used for drug testing is urinalysis because this method is the least cumbersome to an individual and has the highest assurance of furnishing reliable results.
10. Employers should utilize the services of drug laboratories that are SAMHSA certified as a means of assuring those who will be tested that all facilities, equipment, procedures and technicians involved are regulated as far as competencies and professionalism are concerned. A Medical Review Officer (MRO) is tasked to oversee the procedures and evaluate tests.
11. To ensure that tests are properly evaluated or interpreted, any relevant and supplemental information should be provided by the subjects to be tested. Providing information about current medication for prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication or any other substance can prevent the clouding of test results for purposes of analyses and interpretations.
12. Employers should ensure that SAMHSA’s requirement for the chain of custody is implemented. This pertains to the use of a form that documents the handling and storage of urine samples; from their collection, transport, storage, testing to their disposal. This document provides a written proof that all procedures implemented were properly linked to the subject.
13. Employees whose urine testing produces positive results should have a direct interview with the medical officer to elicit proper explanations and allow for proper discussions about the results that are about to be presented to the employer.
14. In which cases, such reports should contain only the information that is relevant to the workplace’s purpose in conducting the drug tests and that would be to ensure security, safety, productivity and protection of the business’s integrity.
15. Unless required or mandated by law, the medical officer cannot be compelled to disclose the kind and amount of drugs or prohibited substance found in the employee’s or applicant’s test results.
As best practice to observe and in accordance with business ethics, drug-testing waivers and consent forms should be signed by the employees before each and every testing procedure to which the employee submits him or herself. That way, it is made clear that the said consent is current and granted for that particular testing event.
Image Credit: Drug screening lab prepares samples.jpg from Wikimedia Commons
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/2k9Results.htm