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The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, considers there to be five elements that are important components of any drug-free workplace.

Bostec works with companies throughout Whatcom County and along the Interstate 5 corridor to implement the policies and procedures that enable workplaces to be free of drug use and abuse. In this vein, we help businesses with many of the critical aspects of SAMHSA’s plan.

Here are the five elements, with information from Bostec’s experience about why they are necessary and what we can do to help.

1.            A written policy

A drug and alcohol policy is critical because without it, employees won’t know what is permissible, and you won’t be able to enforce any rules. Additionally, a company without a written and enforced drug policy could be held liable if an employee were to be injured — or to injure someone else — while under the influence.

2.            Employee education

With the policy comes education. At a minimum, all team members should know what is in the policy. Ideally, they also should be taught how to recognize the signs of drug or alcohol abuse, how to tell if someone is under the influence, and what to do if they suspect a problem.

3.            Supervisor training

Supervisors need to know the details of the policy and what is and isn’t allowed under the law, including on matters of employee confidentiality and privacy. Good supervisors also will encourage employees to speak up when they spot issues. In addition, supervisors must be able to implement any specific parts of the plan that aren’t handled by a contracted provider. For example, Bostec trains company supervisors to administer breath-alcohol tests.

Learn more: How workplaces can avoid common drug and alcohol policy mistakes

4.            An employee assistance program (EAP)

When drug or alcohol abuse does come up, you want to find a way to help your employees out. You also want to prevent issues from ever getting so big and unmanageable that employees turn to substance abuse to cope. A good employee assistance program can help team members find the support they need, whether it’s counseling, treatment or something else.

5.            Drug testing

Learn more: Three huge reasons to implement a drug-testing program at work

Many companies, such as those governed by the federal Department of Transportation, are required to implement random drug testing programs. But even if testing is not required by law, it’s integral to any drug-free workplace plan. Random drug and alcohol testing can help prevent employees from coming to work under the influence, and specific tests after accidents can help determine whether drugs or alcohol might have played a role. If needed, Bostec can handle all aspects of company drug and alcohol testing.

Ready to implement your own drug-free workplace plan? Bostec can help. But don’t just take our word for it; read these testimonials from some of the many local companies who rely on Bostec’s services.

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