As drug abuse and use amongst employees increase, companies must implement clear measures to ensure employees don’t work under the influence of drugs. One such measure is to enforce drug test policies. One of the most common drug tests is the DOT drug test. These tests are critical for identifying the most abused drugs and have been modified to make them more effective and efficient.
Those working in the transport sector and other jobs considered sensitive must undergo DOT drug testing to ensure they are not using drugs. Nowadays, the applications of the DOT drug test are expanding to include private companies that also use the tests for other reasons such as workplace safety and promoting reputation. Here are some concepts about the DOT test you should know.
What is a DOT drug test?
The DOT drug test is a five-panel test kit that can be suitable for identifying the abuse and use of five main drugs. These drugs include cocaine, marijuana, opioids, amphetamines, and phencyclidine (PCP). People abuse these drugs due to the high supply and availability.
Where to conduct the test
The tests can be conducted in different locations, such as within companies or by hiring third parties to perform the tests. It is ideal for organizations to hire third-party independent laboratories to conduct the tests.
If you operate a transportation company, you must ensure the drivers pass these tests before operating vehicles. You can contact Indianapolis CDL testing services if you reside around the area. Any other company can rely on the services of these laboratories.
Individuals can also conduct the tests by visiting the laboratories, giving the samples then paying as they await the results. However, you need to ensure the laboratory has the relevant certifications for bodies such as FDA and CDC to conduct the tests.
Who needs to undergo the tests?
The DOT tests are suitable for industries mainly involved in logistics and transportation. However, other companies and agencies can also do the tests for other purposes. The tests are critical for any agency or organization with sensitive or highly classified jobs.
The tests are critical for federal agencies. Before you join any federal organization, you must pass these tests to prove your mental capability and sanity to work in jobs such as the military. Departments/organizations with classified jobs include intelligence agencies, the military, virtual data server services providers, data managers, recruitment, etc.
Some jobs considered most sensitive include: Military, police, and other law enforcement agencies. They also include employees directly involved in operations in the following companies: chemical manufacturing, aviation, trucking, logistics, and machine and plant operations. Federal and private agencies such as space exploitation, transit administration and management, maritime jobs, and pipeline and materials safety also require these tests.
Other institutions, such as education institutions, also require tests for school bus drivers to ensure the kids are safe. The tests are also necessary for non-sensitive jobs such as customer support to ensure customers communicate to agents without complaints of poor service delivery.
When to conduct the DOT tests
The best test time varies based on the organization’s policies and guidelines. Sometimes they vary based on the legal and federal requirements from agencies such as the transport and homeland security department. These are the ideal times to carry out the tests:
- Pre-employment: Before you employ anyone, they must be free from the five drugs. These tests are mainly necessary for highly-classified or sensitive jobs.
- Reasonable suspicion: Whenever you suspect an employee may be under the drug influence, you can order the tests conducted to establish the actual problem. Before you conduct the test, you need to rule out all other possibilities
- Return to job: After leave days and holidays, employees working sensitive jobs such as driving must pass the DOT tests before resuming work.
- Follow-up: Any employee who had a positive test must repeat it after ninety days to confirm whether they are still using the drugs.
- Post-accident: The test is critical for establishing who is liable for the accident. Those driving under the influence of drugs are likely to cause accidents.
- Random times: Sometimes, companies need to conduct tests to surprise employees. This is critical to ensure employees do not use detox as they approach the drug test period.
Why conduct the DOT tests?
The tests are beneficial for every organization in different ways.
- Limit expenses: Companies, especially logistics and transportation companies, will likely reduce negligence-related legal costs. The damages for torts such as accidents will also decline since employees are sober when doing their jobs.
- Good reputation: As companies reduce the impact of drug abuse and use amongst employees, they are likely to boost their reputation, unlike when the employees are constantly indicted for drug abuse or attending to customers when drunk.
- Impact on productivity: Employees are more likely to be productive and focused when not under the influence of drugs.
- Workplace safety: Companies can boost workplace safety by ensuring all employees are free from drug influence. This will eliminate possible accidents due to drowsiness and hangovers. Employees will also focus on work, reducing any potential accidents while working.
DOT drug tests are critical for organizations with susceptible and classified operations. Other agencies can also adopt the test policies to instill discipline in the workplace, boost reputation, minimize expenses and promote workplace safety. Organizations must also follow the time guidelines on when to conduct the tests. To ensure accurate and untampered results, companies and agencies can hire independent and certified laboratories to do the tests.