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How to Address Signs of Substance Abuse at Work

by | Dec 23, 2023 | Uncategorized

Employees who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work can create safety and liability hazards. However, the situation calls for careful handling.

  • Begin with a firm workplace policy regarding the use of drugs and alcohol and testing procedures.
  • ARCpoint Labs of Martinez can help you develop every step of your testing protocol.

As an employer, you must give your team a safe work environment. Part of that responsibility includes taking action when you suspect an employee is under the influence while at work. Here are some things you should know about drug or alcohol testing when an employee seems impaired.

Make Safety the First Priority

When you suspect an employee is under the influence at work, the most critical first step is to keep everyone safe, including the employee in question. Request that the employee leaves the work area and goes with you to an office or other safe location. 

While you shouldn’t attempt to physically force the employee to come with you, be ready to call for security if the worker becomes belligerent or combative in a dangerous way. You want to avoid disrupting workflow as much as possible, but you must make safety the priority, even if that means calling for help from law enforcement.

Follow Your Policy

Your company needs a clear policy on workplace drug and alcohol testing communicated to all employees and applicants. The document should include when and how a drug test will be conducted if an employee seems to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work. An established policy helps discourage people with a substance abuse problem from showing up to work impaired, and it can also deter applicants who have those issues. 

If you don’t have a well-crafted policy on workplace drug testing, ARCpoint Labs of Martinez can help you draft one. Such a policy may even save you money on your worker’s compensation insurance.

Stick to the Facts

While you may feel confident that someone is under the influence at work, remember that only a properly conducted laboratory test can say definitively if that is the case. Erratic behavior may have other medical causes unrelated to substance use. 

Managers should all understand how to approach an employee and request testing using neutral language. Documentation should include precise language about what supervisors witnessed that led them to request testing.

Understand the Laws of Your State

Every state has laws related to workplace drug and alcohol testing. Most jurisdictions don’t mandate that employers do drug testing. However, many do give advantages to employers who screen or do a random drug test, including lower insurance rates and money-saving protections in worker’s compensation cases. However, the laws also protect your employees, so you must understand what is allowed in your state. 

As a national testing company, the ARCpoint Labs team understands the laws in every state where we operate, including California. We can guide you on what constitutes reasonable suspicion as grounds for a drug test.

Workplace Drug Testing in Martinez, CA

Whether you need to develop a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy or need a trusted partner to carry out your random drug testing, ARCpoint Labs can help. We can provide pre-employment drug testing and help you implement a program for current employees. ARCpoint Labs of Martinez offers the latest in testing technology to bring you the most accurate results possible. Contact us today to get started!

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