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5 Steps to Starting a Drug-Free Workplace Program
Scott Mogensen
5 mins read

JUNE 15, 2016 – Most DOT-regulated businesses who employ individuals that perform safety-sensitive functions (such as driving trucks or buses) understand that they are required to implement a Drug & Alcohol Testing Program that includes Pre-Employment and Random Drug Testing. But what about non-DOT regulated employees such as yard workers and office personnel? Many companies would like to include those employees in a Drug & Alcohol Program as well. But is it allowed?

What we’re referring to is known as a Drug Free Workplace (DFW) Program, and although most states do allow and even encourage this, there are various limitations and requirements.

Why Should You Consider a DFW Program?

According to the National Institutes of Health, 10 percent of individuals over the age of 12 use drugs – and many of them are employed. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice found that 50 percent of all on-the-job accidents and up to 40 percent of employee theft results from substance abuse.

By implementing a compliant, Drug Free Workplace program in your company, you’ll be taking an important step in preventing the financial and personal risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse – as well as enhancing the overall performance of your employees.

Starting a Drug Free Workplace Program

DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing regulations are pretty complex, but non-federal testing can be even more complicated. This is because each state has its own stipulations, whereas DOT requirements are generally the same across the board. Therefore, the following steps should be taken prior starting up a DFW program:

#1. Contact your State Department of Labor (DOL)

The first thing you want to do is find out what types of drug testing your state allows. Your state DOL will be able to let you know what types of testing you are allowed to do as well as whether you need to apply or file any documentation with the DOL.

#2. Consult an attorney

In order to ensure that all state and federal requirements are being properly met, it is recommended that prior to implementing a DFW program, you consult an attorney and a Third Party Administrator, such as Foley, who is well-versed in state and federal drug and alcohol requirements.

Putting a Drug Free Workplace Program into Place

Once you have consulted with the DOL and an attorney and have determined the type of program you will be putting in place, you can start the ball rolling.

#1. Implement a DFW Policy

You must develop a policy that clearly describes your expectations and requirements. As you might imagine, this can be a lengthy and wordy document. Many companies opt to utilize a third party, such as Foley, to assist them with this. It is a good idea to have legal counsel review your policy prior to distribution.

#2. Distribute Policy

Once your policy has been drafted you should hold a company-wide meeting to inform your employees of your new DFW Program. This is a good time to distribute your policy and ensure all employees sign a document indicating that they have received and reviewed it.

#3. Education/Training

It is highly recommended that training sessions are set up for supervisors and employees regarding the effects of drugs and the consequences of drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Whether you are implementing unannounced random testing or only conducting pre-employment drug tests, you need to have an adequate Drug & Alcohol Testing Program in place. Most companies utilize a Third-Party Administrator to run their program.

Do you want more information about setting up a DFW Program? Click here or call (800) 253-5506 and speak with a Foley representative today.

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