OSHA, Post Accident Reporting and Drug Testing in the Workplace

Written by on 5/24/2017 2:31 AM in , , . It has 0 Comments.

OSHA laws regarding post-accident reporting and required drug testing in the workplace are rapidly evolving. This makes careful reviews of your current practices with your workers comp insurance consultant integral to compliance and avoiding legal ramifications resulting from the many conflicting laws nationwide.

The Recent Stir Regarding Post-Accident Drug Tests
Effective December 1, 2016, new OSHA regulations require employers to establish a “reasonable procedure” for employees to report work-related injuries/illnesses promptly and accurately. Employers are specifically warned against discouraging reporting and prohibited from retaliation. Thus far OSHA comments – but not official rulemakers – have expressed opinions on post-accident drug testing that have implied these tests are retaliatory and unlawful, unless facts indicate such impairment may have played a role.

What Does this Mean for the Many Employers Commonly Utilizing Drug Testing for Safety Programs?
OSHA has stated: “To strike the appropriate balance, drug testing policies should limit post-incident testing to situations in which employee drug use is likely to have contributed to the incident, and for which the drug test can accurately identify impairment caused by drug use.” How can you ensure compliance?

  • Review policies, ensuring compliance with current state-specific requirements.
  • Consider post-accident testing on a case-by-case basis, specifically following noted signs of impairment, training supervisors/managers on recognizing symptoms and documentation protocols.
  • Consider switching to oral fluid/saliva testing, which is non-invasive, and whose results can detect drug use and identify present psychoactive components immediately, and up to four days after drug-use.
  • Keep employees abreast of company policy changes.

As marijuana legalization expands, stay up-to-date on the latest OSHA actions, enlisting the trusted help of a workers comp insurance consultant from Minnesota Comp Advisor today.

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