Does your firm have a policy for post-accident drug and alcohol testing? For those firms that do not, direct your attention to Quest Diagnostic’s analysis of more than 5.6 million drug tests in 2013 in the table below. That analysis shows that 5.9% of the tests for this reason were positive. And, this includes only positive results for illegal drugs. That 5.9% does not include alcohol positive results.
Most firms do have a drug and alcohol testing policy. But often the process does not consider factors that are necessary to make it effective.
Proper communication of the Policy
The policy and procedure should be communicated to all employees and the receipt of the information by the employee should be documented. An employee’s failure to comply with the procedures should be result in disciplinary action.
Education and Review
Employees should be thoroughly and regularly reminded of the process to follow if an accident occurs.
Definition of an Accident
There should be a clear definition of an accident and where it can possibly occur. If none exists there will be confusion about whether or not the incident rises to the level of an accident.
Most think of an accident occurring exclusively at the work place. Does your policy address automobile accidents? And what about individuals who work from home? Your policy should address the occurrence of an accident in all possible scenarios.
Examples of criteria used by employers to define the occurrence of an accident could include:
- A fatality
- An injury that requires medical attention away from the scene of the accident
- An injury that results in lost work time of X days **
- Damage to company property in excess of $XXX **Damage to company vehicles owned or leased by the company or being used for company purposes in excess of $XXX **
Know Applicable Rules & Regulations
States have varied laws governing the administration of a drug/alcohol test in this situation. It is always a best practice to consult competent legal counsel. In addition, we would like to make available free access to HR360
Just write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request to have access to this web site. HR360 puts HR and benefits compliance at your fingertips. It is the one-stop solution that streamlines your HR function and gets you back to doing what you do best — building your business. Access to this service is a value worth $450. We make access to this resource free to our clients. And, we extend that same invitation to you for this limited time.
In addition, under certain state laws employees testing positive may be ineligible for workers’ compensation and/or unemployment benefits. Also, some insurance companies may apply a discount on workers’ compensation insurance premiums for conducting testing.
And, some states allow a credit on worker compensation premiums when a drug and alcohol testing program is in effect. Accessing the HR360 would allow you to quickly research your particular state’s rules in this area. Just write an email to email@example.com and request to have access to this web site.
Who Must Submit to Post-Accident Testing?
We think all employees involved, either directly or in-directly, should be subject to post-accident testing. For example, let’s say Jim is operating a forklift. Jim swerves to avoid hitting Sam and hits material laid by Jack. In this scenario, there is no way to tell or assign just one individual who should be drug tested. Any of the individuals could have caused the accident by being under the influence of a substance.
All employees should be subject to Post-Accident testing when an accident occurs that meets the criteria that the employer outlines for such testing. As a general rule, the individuals who caused or contributed to the accident must proceed to the testing site as soon as possible. In addition, testing should take place for those individuals injured as part of the accident whether they were a contributing factor to the accident or not. The criteria may differ based upon the state and/or federal laws surrounding Post-Accident testing. The employer’s Drug Free Workplace Policy should be used as a reference to assist in determining when testing should take place.
What is the best way to conduct the test?
Typically, personnel involved in an accident must be sent to a clinic for testing with the donor providing a urine specimen. That is of course a viable option. But, the quicker to the actual time of the accident you can deliver the test, the more accurate the results. This is why we would recommend the use of Intercept to test for illegal drugs and Q.E.D. to test for alcohol levels. Both of these tests use oral fluid. Intercept is sent to a laboratory for confirmation testing. Q.E.D. requires on the spot interpretation of alcohol levels. Q.E.D. is approved for Department of Transportation drug testing.
Are you confused about how the Intercept oral fluid drug test works? Visit here to get an overview of the product and great information brochures. And, there is a 5 minute video on the OraSure web site that presents the collection process and provides opportunity to take the qualifying exam and print a certificate of completion at:
When using the Q.E.D. kit, it is important that collectors complete a short six minute course and print the completion certificate before administering the test on a donor.
The statistics indicate that drug abusers are up to four times more likely to be involved in on-the-job accidents and five times more likely to file workers’ compensation claims. Post-Accident testing can have a powerful impact on an employer’s testing program that should be reviewed and carefully considered in order to establish an effective and cost-efficient program. If you wish to further discuss implementation of a drug and alcohol testing program, just call us at 410.494.0232 or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or just visit our web site www.preemploymentscreen.com for more details.
Table 4. Positivity Rates By Testing Reason – Urine Drug Tests
(For General U.S. Workforce)
More than 5.6 million tests from January to December 2013
|Returned to Duty