Random drug and alcohol testing (RDAT) is one of the most effective methods to protect your company’s assets and reputation. It also deters the possibility of injuries by your employees to third parties in the community.
RDAT communicates a very clear message to your workforce and to the community that you will not tolerate employees being under the influence of illegal drugs and/or alcohol while operating your vehicles or machinery. RDAT is very affordable and is almost 50% more effective that just doing pre-employment testing.
If you don’t have such a program, you and your firm are vulnerable to negligent retention torts. How so? Would you like to be on the stand in front of a judge and jury addressing the following plaintiff’s attorney line of questioning?
” Plaintiff Attorney Question – Do you have a random drug/alcohol testing program? Your Answer – No. Plaintiff Attorney Comment – You mean you don’t care enough about members of the public to check to make sure that your employees aren’t impaired when they are driving your vehicles!”
Does RDAT work? If you lived next to the Limerick nuclear generating station, would you be thankful that Exelon engages in this type of pro-active testing?
LIMERICK — A supervisor at Exelon Nuclear’s Limerick Generating Station tested positive for alcohol use during work and her access to the plant has been restricted, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
“The threshold for testing positive for nuclear power plant employees is 0.04 blood-alcohol content, which is lower than the DUI limit of 0.08 used in most states,” NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan wrote in an email to The Mercury.
“Random screenings are an important part of Exelon’s rigorous Fitness for Duty Program.
“A fitness-for-duty check for alcohol would involve a Breathalyzer or oral fluid (saliva) test. There would be an initial test and then a confirmatory test,” Sheehan explained.
According to NRC’s annual summary of fitness for duty reports in 2011, the most recent year for which complete results are available, 178,586 such tests were conducted at the nation’s nuclear plants, the largest number since 1993 and an 8 percent increase over the previous year.
The percentage of those tests that result in positive tests is just over one half of 1 percent.