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Given the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse these days, many companies are opting to set up drug testing procedures in the workplace to ensure that their employees aren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work.

This is a good thing. In general, drug-testing programs enhance safety and security in the workplace, especially if the business empowers its team members to speak up when others might need help.

Starting a drug-testing plan at work requires adherence to a number of rules and regulations, however. Here, we share some important tips related to the urine-collection location; we hope this will help businesses remain on the right side of the law regarding drug testing.

Location: Where will urine collection take place?

Any site that’s set up in your Whatcom County workplace for collecting urine to use for drug tests must include the necessary personnel, materials, equipment, facilities and supervision to provide for the collection, temporary storage, and shipping of urine specimens to a laboratory.

Dig deeper: What’s the most surprising part of learning to administer drug and alcohol tests in the workplace?

The best location for collecting a urine sample for a workplace drug test is a room containing a single toilet. No one but the employee being tested should be present in the room during the collection, with the exception that an observer may be present when a directly observed collection is necessary.

Two hands are shown under a running faucet.A water source for washing hands should be made available, and this should be outside the closed room where urination occurs. If this is not possible, the business may provide moist towelettes outside the closed room.

It isn’t required that urine samples be collected inside the business. The collection site may be in a medical facility, a mobile facility (such as a van or trailer), a dedicated collection facility or any other location, as long as it meets the requirements.

Security: How will you ensure that the collection is pure?

One job of the drug test collector is to ensure that urine specimens aren’t tampered with during the process. Here are a few things to watch out for:

  • Secure water sources or otherwise make them unavailable by turning off the water inlet, taping handles, etc.
  • Ensure that the water in the toilet is blue.
  • Ensure that no soap, disinfectants, cleaning agents, or other possible adulterants — including foreign or unauthorized substances — are present.
  • Ensure that undetected access (through a door not in your view) is not possible.
  • Secure areas and items (ledges, trash receptacles, paper towel holders, under-sink areas, etc.) that appear suitable for concealing contaminants.
  • Recheck the items listed above after each collection to ensure the site’s continued integrity.

Dig deeper: What are the benefits of establishing a drug-free workplace?

If the collection site uses a facility normally used for other purposes, like a public rest room or hospital examining room, you must, as a collector, also ensure before the collection that:

  • Access to collection materials and specimens is effectively restricted.
  • The facility is secured against access during the procedure to ensure privacy for the employee and to prevent the distraction of the collector.

For more tips on managing a workplace drug-testing program, visit Bostec’s blog or contact us. Bostec offers training on establishing drug-free workplaces for HR managers and business owners in Bellingham, Whatcom County and throughout the Pacific Northwest, and we are happy to help.

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