Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy Creation/Review

Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy Creation/Review

Your drug and alcohol policy in the workplace sets the stage for a successful fit-for-duty program and is often a key feature of a health and safety program. Having a documented drug and alcohol policy provides a framework for dealing with the difficult and often sensitive issues surrounding substance abuse, medical conditions, and related stress and fatigue. With a policy in place, your employees know what is expected and what to do to help ensure that your workplace is safe and drug-free.

CannAmm has years of experience creating effective drug and alcohol policies. We design your policy so it fits your drug and alcohol testing program. This helps ensure that your team will use and adhere to your policy which is essential for safety-sensitive positions.

Benefits of a Drug and Alcohol Policy

An effective drug and alcohol policy benefits companies in many ways, including:

  • Ensuring that everyone in the company understands the requirements and disciplinary action related to substance abuse
  • Providing guidelines for balancing a safe workplace and privacy
  • Ensuring your drug and alcohol testing program is defensible
  • Serving as the foundation for a program that can lead to fewer accidents and absences, lower turnover, and increased productivity

Factors to Consider

Goals: Before developing a workplace drug and alcohol policy, CannAmm helps you determine your goals to ensure the policy helps you meet your objectives.

Your goals will depend on the reasons you are implementing a policy, which may include:

  • The desire to mitigate safety risk and ensure due diligence
  • A recent event on-site or with an employee appearing to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Having reference material to manage occupational health and safety
  • A workplace health and safety requirement

Results: Your drug and alcohol policy should include measures for tracking performance. These may include monitoring changes in absence rates, the number of incidents, the number of refusals, etc. By tracking performance, you can clearly show if there is a direct link between substance abuse and incidents and modify your drug and alcohol testing program as needed.

General Rules on Testing

Testing is typically permissible under the following conditions:

  • The position is safety-sensitive
  • As part of an incident investigation 
  • There is a reasonable cause to believe that a worker is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • The testing is being conducted as part of a return-to-work program which recognizes that it is common for those with a dependence disability to relapse

Comprehensiveness: To be effective, a drug and alcohol policy should include the following:

  • Clear objectives and purpose of the policy
  • How the policy helps achieve productivity and business goals
  • Roles and responsibilities for supervisors and workers
  • Definitions
  • Provides details on the impacts of cannabis legalization in Canada
  • Describes the circumstances under which a drug test will take place
  • Outlines the consequences for employees who refuse to be tested
  • What to do if an employee self-discloses a substance abuse problem
  • How results will be stored and what will be done to ensure confidentiality of health records
  • Outlines the responsibilities of employees
  • Explicitly bans alcohol, drugs, and drug paraphernalia in the workplace
  • Contains a limited scope that outlines that the only testing performed will be for the presence of drugs and or alcohol and will not be used to reveal any other medical conditions
  • Details procedures in place to review test results with employees that have been tested

Contact us today to find out how we can help you develop a comprehensive, defensible drug and alcohol policy tailored to your organization’s work environment.