How many people do you want to test in your random drug testing program?
Consider what makes sense for your organization. If you believe that drug or alcohol use or abuse may be an issue in your organization, perhaps you’ll want to consider testing a larger number. Industry standard is typically 15–25 percent of your workforce. If you’re in a program that requires testing, such as a Department of Transportation (DOT) program, you will need to make sure that you are meeting or exceeding the minimum, which is currently set at 25 percent for drug testing and 10 percent for alcohol testing. No random alcohol testing is required for USCG or PHMSA programs. If your company is in a program that offers incentives, such as the Ohio BWC Drug-Free Safety Program, you will need to randomly test at least 15 percent of your employees in the advanced program. In either case, you can always test more, which is a good practice. If you are a non-DOT company that simply wants to have a program because you know it will increase safety and it’s an important thing to do, you can choose the number or percentage to test that’s right for your company.
Do I need to include alcohol testing?
If you’re in a DOT program that requires alcohol testing, you will need to comply with that number. Otherwise, it’s up to you with respect to random testing. For post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing, you should definitely test for both drugs and alcohol. For post-accident testing, you want to make sure both drugs and alcohol are ruled out as being a possible contributing factor to the accident. For reasonable suspicion testing, even if you only suspect one or the other, a best practice is to test for both, as you may not be sure and want to cover your bases.
How can I calculate the costs?
Once you’ve decided how many employees you want to test (by looking at 2016 statistics for pre-employment testing, post-accidents and reasonable suspicions to determine what your random testing number will be), you can then do the math based on how your testing will be conducted. Below are important considerations:
- Will you be sending your employees out to a fixed facility for testing? If so, these are various factors that will come into play:
- What does the facility charge for the service(s)?
- On average, how long will your employee be off the job for testing? This is a critical component in calculating the cost, as you’ll need to include lost wages as part of the overall cost.
- Does a supervisor need to accompany the employee to the facility? If so, you will need to factor in the wages of both employees (including drive and wait time at the facility; roughly assume one to three hours or more). A supervisor will definitely need to accompany the employee in a post-accident or reasonable suspicion situation.
- Is the testing taking place after hours? If so, it may be difficult (if not impossible) to find a place to get the testing done, and you can guarantee extended wait times and uncontrollable costs (you won’t know what an ER will charge until you get the bill).
- You will also need to be sure that the collectors are properly certified, especially for DOT drug testing where specific guidelines must be followed.
- Or, will your testing be done on-site by a reputable company with certified collectors? If so, the budgeting process becomes easier and more cost-effective:
- A mobile drug testing company can provide pricing for the cost of testing and associated fees.
- The testing will take place at your facility, at your convenience.
- If the employee is prepared to provide a sample, the testing takes five to 10 minutes and the employee can immediately return back at work. No travel time and no extra person is needed to escort the employee. This is a huge savings that you need to consider when determining how to execute your drug testing program.
- In addition to the time savings, liabilities are decreased by not sending your employee out to a facility (en route they may have an accident in transit, which could result in a Worker’s Comp. claim).
- If the collector is on-site, an element of surprise exists, so it’s virtually impossible to cheat the test. This maintains the integrity of your drug testing program, helping keep drugs out and your workplace safe.
- An on-site mobile collector should be available 24/7, ensuring that you will avoid long waits at a fixed facility.
As you plan your 2017 budget, on-site testing, as conducted by USA Mobile Drug Testing of Northeast Ohio, will not only save you money in all aspects of the program but will provide the additional benefits of a drug testing program with high integrity, increased productivity and decreased liabilities. Please call us at (440) 653‑5003, Option 1 for more information and pricing.