Last updated: October 19, 2020
Workplace accidents are inevitable, especially in a bustling logistics hub like Atlanta, and post-accident drug testing is a highly-effective way to protect your business and employees when they do.
What is post-accident drug testing?
Post-accident drug testing is conducted following a workplace accident when an employer or supervisor suspects, based on symptoms like slurred speech, difficulty balancing, or the odor of drugs or alcohol, that use of a substance may have played a role in the accident.
How is post-accident drug testing conducted?
When an employee is informed that you suspect drugs or alcohol may have played a role in their accident, they must proceed immediately to the collection site for testing. Any time related to taking a post-accident drug test is considered working hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act, so you must pay them during that time. Fortunately, USAMDT of Atlanta can set up a collection site at your location or the location of your choice 24/7, so there is minimal downtime and employees don’t have the opportunity to cheat the test.
Test results can be obtained using urine, saliva, or hair samples, so we can conduct post-accident drug testing anywhere, even if privacy restrooms are not available.
*Note: The Department of Transportation currently only accepts the results of urinalysis tests, however, companies not bound by DOT regulations are free to use any method they choose.
What will show up in a drug test?
Whether using urinalysis, mouth swab, or hair drug testing, we provide Atlanta employers with the ability to test for and identify virtually any type of prescription or illicit drug following a workplace accident, including:
- Amphetamines (meth, speed, crank, ecstasy)
- THC (cannabinoids, marijuana, hash)
- Cocaine (coke, crack)
- Opiates (heroin, opium, codeine, morphine)
- Phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust)
- Barbiturates (phenobarbital, butalbital, secobarbital, downers)
- Benzodiazepines (tranquilizers like Valium, Librium, Xanax)
- Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
- Methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction)
- Propoxyphene (Darvon compounds)
- Anabolic steroids (synthesized, muscle-building hormones)
- Hydrocodone (prescription medication known as Lortab, Vicodin, Oxycodone)
- MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy)
Who can see the results of a drug test?
Drug test results are considered sensitive personal information because of the potential impact on an individual’s reputation, so you should treat it in the same manner you would treat their medical or financial information. Failure to do so could harm an employee irreparably, opening your company up to a costly and time-consuming lawsuit.
Recent OSHA rulings on post-accident drug testing
There has been a lot of confusion regarding post-accident drug testing recently because of a misinterpretation of the published Final Rule (29 CFR 1904 / 81 FR 29623) that involves the revision of subsection 1904.35(b)(1)(iv), which stipulates:
You must not discharge or in any manner discriminate against any employee for reporting a work-related injury or illness.
To clarify the issue, OSHA released a guidance memo on October 19, 2016 stating:
The directive will not prevent employers from conducting
- DOT, or any state and federally-mandated post-accident drug tests
- Shippers and insurers-mandated drug tests for contractors
- Post-accident drug tests outlined in any collective bargaining or any similar agreements
In addition, OSHA also stressed that
- Standard reporting procedure for lodging reports should not be burdensome for employees
- Employees should not be disciplined for any delay in reporting.
- Employers may not create rewards program to disincentivize staff from filing accident reports