Despite drug testing not being a mandatory legal requirement in all industries, the Model Workplace Health and Safety Act specifies that workers must NOT be under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the workplace and must not use alcohol or illegal drugs while at work.
Persons conducting business must also ensure the health and safety of workers and others at the workplace. Because of this reason, many employers may choose to make drug testing within their organisation mandatory.
In short, workplace drug testing is mandatory depending on the company’s individual drug and alcohol testing policy. Workplace drug testing is also encouraged to keep workplaces safe from the dangers of alcohol and drugs.
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Drug and alcohol testing policies
For team leaders, managers, and current and potential employees, understanding a company’s drug and alcohol testing policy is essential for legal compliance and informed decision-making. Below are some things that employees and team leaders should know about their organisation’s D&A testing policies.
Potential and current employees
Employees should ask about the company’s drug and alcohol testing policy to understand the organisation’s stance on the use of alcohol and other drugs at the workplace to understand and manage expectations.
Comprehending this will give employees more information to make a decision pertaining to consent. This also helps employees understand the potential consequences of violating the policy and know how and when drug and alcohol tests are conducted.
Workplaces usually employ urine or saliva drug testing methods to test for the presence of banned substances as this is the quickest, cheapest and fastest way to do so. Employees should also ask for potential resources and assistance programs offered by the company to assist employees struggling with substance abuse.
Employees must also make sure that testing results are kept confidential and only shared with authorised personnel.
For employers and team leaders
When writing or distributing the organisation’s testing policy, employers must ensure that the policy is clearly written and communicated to all employees, easily accessible and well-defined in company documentation.
The policy written must also be consistent and fair for all employees. This is key to avoid any perception of bias or discrimination.
Employers must also provide adequate training and education to employees about the policy, its implications and available support resources. Employee assistance programs are usually established to help employees with any problem they may be facing during or outside of work, which includes substance abuse.
Employers must also ensure that their policy is in compliance with legal requirements outlined by federal and state regulations.
For both parties, understanding the policy fosters transparency, compliance, and a supportive work environment while ensuring safety and legal adherence.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your business’s needs.
Written by Wafi Rashid