How to Maintain a Drug-Free Workplace
The top five ways to ensure audit success and a successful drug-free workplace policy are as follows:
1. Know which regulations apply. If you are required to test under the DOT, you will need to be very fluent in 49 CFR Part 40, as well as the modal regulations (FMCSA, FTA, FRA, etc). Spend time on the ODAPC.gov site and look at all the resources.
You may not be a drug collector or an alcohol technician, but you should know what they are required to do. If you do not understand the basics, you cannot advocate for the employee.
2. Have a strong and well-written policy. Whether your program is DOT regulated or non-regulated, wise companies create strong policies. Consistency is very important. We are generally prepared for the eventual positive and/or refusal; however, there are many other events we should prepare for just in case.
It is important for a company to discuss potential scenarios and how they would handle the issue across the organization. You should apply the policy equally to all persons who are subject to the policy. In small family companies, this can often become an issue. But in all cases, always have a systematic investigation process to learn the facts and attain evidence and other documentation to thoroughly investigate the incident.
Ultimately, the policy should be so well defined that you can come to the conclusion based on the criteria outlined in the policy. Your policy should have absolutes, and employees must know what these are. For example, if the company does not allow drinking while on company property, it may be something to which your company is committed. What would you do if the marketing department threw a party with alcohol at 3 p.m. on Friday? Maybe a better solution is to have an approval process for certain events.
The DOT policy should be clearly different than the non-regulated policy. You cannot mix the two. Because of state laws, it is very difficult to have only one non-regulated policy if your company operates in more than one state ….. (see article at OH&S)