Presenting the right reasons for d&a testing
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Presenting the right reasons for d&a testing
Article Title: Presenting the Right Reasons for D&A TestingCrafting drug and alcohol policies and relatedprocedures is just the first step in a process.They must be presented to employees inorder to be effective. How those policies andprocedures are presented makes anenormous difference in how well workersaccept it. A policy can be presented as a toolof punishment for wrongdoers and a dictumfrom management, or they can be presentedby sharing the right reasons forimplementing drug and alcohol testing.Employers always have two choices whenexplaining the elements of drug & alcohol testing. The first choice is to present aparticular requirement in a dictatorial manner that focuses on the negative aspectsof drug and alcohol use. The second choice is to present the positive impactsworkers will accrue as a result of testing. For example, it is recognized thatsubstance abuse in the workplace presents safety risks. A trainer could say, “Drugand alcohol use is dangerous, and we could get sued if one of our employees causesan accident while under the influence.” On the other hand, you could present thetesting program by saying, “We care about the safety and health of all ouremployees, and maintaining a substance free workplace ensures you can worksafely and without worry about drugs and alcohol. The testing is our way of makingsure we keep our promise to maintain a safe workplace.”One of the complaints worker rights advocates have is that drug and alcohol testingis a violation of privacy. An employer could say, “We have the right to test workersfor drugs and alcohol according to federal and state (or territory) laws.” Demandingrights is one approach, but a much better approach is to say, “We understandworker privacy concerns, so all test results are kept confidential.”Presenting Within ContextThe drug and alcohol testing program should be presented within the context of thelarger business mission and objectives. Employers want to develop and maintain aworking environment conducive to employee productivity, which in turn createsachievement opportunities for workers. In fact, worker drug and alcohol use isexpensive in many ways. Businesses suffer financially from lower productivity,higher medical and insurance premiums, lost skills utilisation, increasedmanagement time spent on dealing with violations, and so on. When the businessincurs unnecessary expenses, workers experience financial consequences like lowerwage increases.An excellent example of a drug and alcohol policy and procedures program ispresented online by Priority People Solutions (PSS), which is a mining andconstruction recruitment specialist. Even the title of their policy, Drug and AlcoholAwareness, sets a positive tone. Compare the word ‘awareness’ to the word ‘policy’,
and it is easy to recognise the humane approach PPS has adopted in regards topresenting its drug and alcohol policy and procedures.Presenting drug and alcohol testing as a program instituted for the right reasonscan have a major influence on its acceptance. The issue of the right of employers totest for drugs and alcohol has been settled.2The important fact to remember is thatpeople who internalise a company’s philosophy of keeping all employees safe andhealthy are more likely to actively participate in the company’s efforts to maintain asubstance free workplace. Presenting the right reasons may simply mean re-wording current training programs so that it is clear the testing is done foreveryone’s benefit and contributes to everyone’s success.To present the right reasons for drug and alcohol testing, the staff must first betrained. Mediscreen (mediscreen.net.au/) offers in-depth training and informationsessions for managers, staff, and union delegates who are responsible forreassuring employees that high quality testing services are used.