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Healthier and Safer Workplaces:The CareTrek Answer #8

Posted by Joe Antle on November 9, 2020 4:10 PM EST
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So, how can employers contribute to COVID-19 free and drug free communities....

...what are five easy steps to doing that?  And how can employers as a group bring change of this magnitude?  We have discussed in previous blog postings that a very important ingredient in building healthy communities may lie in inspiring employers in those communities becoming actively involved in promoting healthier and safer workplaces.  After all, if a critical mass of employers in a community can become influential in improving health then that would influence, theoretically, more than 90% of the population.  And when it comes to substance abuse recovery treatment and drug free workplaces, then employers can lead the way, provide resources to their communitie's efforts to provide recovery services to less fortunate citizens and enable those citizens to meet the requirements for employers to have COVID-19 free workplaces and drug free workplaces.  And PROOFbecomes a critical part of the formula for moving through a continuum of strategic action steps that together with other employers and beneficiaries such as NGOs and nonprofits, change can be leveraged.

Here are five relatively easy, but important steps to consider:

Step 1: Adopt a COVID-19 free workplace mindset and COVID-19 compliance plan.  And make sure you have PROOFin place.  The combination of the PROOF™ Employer Solutions Hub with PROOF™ COVID-19 "at-home" testing will give every employer what is needed to show proof through action and documentation.

Step 2:  Enable EE's who have answered yes to one or more of the CDC key COVID-19 exposure questions to quickly take an affordable PROOF™ and convenient "at-home" COVID-19 rapid test before returning to work.

Step 3:  Revise the company drug free workplace policy to include referral options for valued employees who exhibit actions indicative of substance abuse and test positive for reasonable cause to be referred to a comprehensive employee assistance program for sustained recovery, such as CareTrek.

Step 4:  Using a well-developed, affordable, convenient and reliable testing solution such as PROOFdrug free workplace options to show evidence of compliance and ensure that everything reasonable is being done to detect and deter substance abuse in the workforce and workplace.

Adopt a drug-free workplace testing regimen that mimics the best practices of leading employers such as the following:

1.PRE-EMPLOYMENT DRUG TEST

The drug test shall be performed at the contractor’s designated testing site or laboratory; this test shall be required on any potential employees (offer contingent upon test result), current employees being transferred into a safety sensitive position or an existing employee covered under FTA or FMCSA regulations who has not performed a safety sensitive function for 30 or more consecutive days; as per Employer’s Drug Free Workplace/Substance Abuse policies (this policy may be separate from any DOT and FTA or FMCSA requirements, under the independent authorization of Employer).

2. RANDOM DRUG TESTING  

Names of all DOT-safety sensitive personnel shall be placed in the appropriate pool from which a random selection will be made. An individual shall be selected by computer based random number generator with neutral criteria which ensures that every individual in the pool has an equal statistical chance of being selected and shall remain in the pool even after being tested. Therefore, an individual may be tested several or no times during the given period.

3. REASONABLE SUSPICION TESTING

Provide on-site drug and alcohol breath testing under reasonable suspicion circumstances. No appointment would be necessary and certified technician must be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and respond within one (1) hour.

4. POST-ACCIDENT TESTING

A.      Provide immediate drug and alcohol breath testing for any individual while on duty, who is involved in an accident that results in either the loss of human life or caused any of those involved to seek immediate medical treatment.

B.      Provide a 24 hour, 7 days a week post-accident response unit and   certified   technician. The unit must respond to the scene of an accident within one (1) hour from initial notification or request.

5. RETURN-TO-DUTY/FOLLOW-UP TESTING

Return-to-Duty drug and/or alcohol testing shall be performed at the contractor’s designated facility /laboratory prior to an employee returning to duty. Once an employee is allowed to return to duty the contractor shall perform the minimum number of follow-up tests in the first 12 months of an employees’ return and any additional testing as prescribed by a licensed Substance Abuse Professional.

6. SPECIMEN COLLECTION and ADMINISTRATION

A. Provide a Mobile Compliance Unit or a self-contained testing vehicle that is operated by DOT-certified technicians and specimen collectors as required by 49 CFR Part 40.

B. Alternate/Back-up collection facilities shall be provided if the Mobile Compliance Unit is not available to collect specimens. These alternate sites are required to be either in the county of the employer’s employment facilities or in a contiguous county to minimize travel time. 

Step 5:  Implement a quick and easy referral program for employees who test positive to the CareTrek system.  This referral process can go through the employers' normal employee assistance program channels, or can be made "direct to provider".  CareTrek is based upon the same comprehensive and integrated set of actions and compliance requirements that is used by leading physicial health programs and has helped thousands of licensed professionals in the legal industry, medical industry and mass transportation get their careers on track, and maintain sobriety and stay on track.

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