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Reasons for Drug Testing

In order to avoid complications, and to maximize the benefits of a good employee drug testing program, you should consider multiple reasons for testing. 

The purpose of a workplace drug testing program is to minimize the chances of hiring an employee with a substance abuse problem, as well as to deter drug use within the workplace. Since the ‘80s, companies have used employee drug screening measures, and consequently, drug use in the work place has declined steadily.

There are several factors to consider when implementing an employee drug testing program, including which drugs to test for, when to test for them, and how often random testing is to be performed.

The most successful employee drug testing programs implement the following:  

employee drug testing
  • Pre-employment Testing: Usually performed after a conditional offer of employment has been made, pre-employment drug testing helps you avoid exposing your company to unnecessary risks resulting from employees who are using drugs. Pre-employment drug screens help you to be proactive in protecting your company from the consequences of hiring drug users.

  • Post-incident Testing: Accident happen, but statistics show that they occur more frequently to employees who are under the influence of intoxicants. When an employee is injured in the workplace, they are entitled to worker’s compensation, but if they are found to be under the influence at the time of the accident, your company is not liable for the compensation. It is important to establish objective criteria for how and when testing will occur, such as injuries that required medical assistance, fatalities, police citations or damage to a vehicle or property above a pre-determined monetary amount.

  • Random Testing: Random drug testing should be conducted on an entirely random basis, and must be unannounced. This type of testing is an extremely strong deterrent against employee drug use. It is important that the employee selection is completely random, so it is suggested that a computer program is used to select each employee.


  • Periodic Testing: Slightly different from random testing, periodic drug testing is conducted on pre-determined days throughout the year. This method is not as strong of a deterrent as random testing, but is still effective.

  • Reasonable Suspicion Testing: As the name implies, this type of employee drug testing is conducted when a supervisor has reasonable suspicion to test an employee, such as strange behavior, noticeable intoxication, disorientation or confusion, or a noticeable change in work performance, i.e., failure to complete common workplace tasks.

  • Return to Duty Testing: If an employee has previously tested positive for drug use, some employers will opt to allow an employee to rectify their drug use, offering a drug abatement plan and the opportunity to return to work contingent on a drug test. Return to duty testing is a single test, scheduled in advance.

  • Follow-up Testing: If you have offered a drug abatement plan to an employee who has previously failed an employee drug test, follow-up testing is another safety guard against future drug use. The follow-up drug test takes place after the employee has already been given a return to duty drug test.

Not only does employee drug testing make for a safer work place, it can increase productivity and workplace morale while also reducing accidents, injuries, employee downtime, unjustified worker’s compensation benefits, employee turnover, and even employee theft.

To start an employee drug testing program with Seascape, call 302-491-4258 or contact us online.

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