When and How to Drug Test Employees


During the pre-employment phase, it is very common for employers to undertake employee drug testing. The most common type of testing is the urine drug test. In most cases, urine drug tests are meant to ascertain the drug history of a potential employee before hiring for a specific period of time. However, the screening of the drug history of an employee is not only limited to the urine test. There are other methods used by employees depending on the circumstances of the tests. Determining what kind of test that your company carries out depends on industry regulations as well as the circumstances that necessitated the test. More importantly, the kind of test is determined by the period that you need to check the drug history of an employee.

Employee Perception about Drug testing
There are varied reactions about how employees actually feel about drug testing at the workplace. However, the single point of focus should be the circumstances that necessitate drug testing. It could be the employer intends to carry out employee driving record check and therefore needs some drug history. Apart from employee driving record check, there are employees whose attitude is positive towards drug testing. The only problem would be the frequency in which the tests are carried out. Both employers and employees are in agreement that drug use at the workplace affects productivity, attendance and the overall performance of the organization. This means a routine check should be taken positively as it will improve the working environment in the long run.

When is Drug testing Necessary?
There are various reasons why a routine drug test is necessary at the workplace. It could be that the employer is carrying out employee driving record check and therefore needs to ascertain several issues. There are also certain industries why it is part of regulatory standards. However, the most common reason for testing in a workplace environment is during the pre-employment stage. Before employers hire new staff, they make it a routine that the candidates undergo a drug test. This can be in form of drug and alcohol test, hair follicle drug test and urine drug test. There are other instances where the employer might be suspicious about the employee’s conduct. This can come in the form of absenteeism, slurred speech or personal grooming. All these issues are pointers to possible drug use hence the need for a rapid drug screen. Some organizations perform random drug tests just to ensure that the employees remain drug-free while at the workplace. Lastly, there is the likelihood of a drug test being carried out after a workplace accident. This is to make sure that the incident did not occur because of possible drug use.


How Tests are Performed
Whereas urine is the most common form of testing, there are other forms of tests that are common in a workplace environment. Urine testing is common especially in employee driving record check. It is considered as a noninvasive way and the least expensive of all tests. The downside of urine tests is that while they can indicate possible drug use, they hardly indicate the level of such usage. Organizations can also carry out blood testing for drugs. This method is invasive compared to other methods. However, it has a higher accuracy level as it can indicate the level of drug use. However, drug testing is not common in a workplace environment and is often used for legal reasons. Perhaps the best way of detecting possible long term drug use is using the hair follicle drug test. The only challenge is that the employer has to be testing long term drug use and not short term. The hair follicle test will not indicate possible drug use over the last one week. The downside of this test is that it is a little expensive and requires a significant chunk of hair. This would make it challenging to test people with short hair.

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