Reasonable Suspicion Testing: A Guide for Workplace Supervisors

Drug and alcohol abusers can be very disruptive and costly to the workplace. Having direct policies and procedures in place to deal with these issues as they arise is essential. Your company is striving to maintain a drug-free workplace and to do that you must have the assistance of your managers and supervisors.

When a worker is impaired by the use of drugs or alcohol, he or she threatens the safety and well-being of everyone at a worksite and potentially the public in general. While it is the responsibility of every employee to work drug-free, supervisors can be the first line of defence by recognizing problem situations and taking appropriate action when a worker may be impaired.

Supervisor training is important for many reasons; whether it be to maintain a productive workplace or avoid unnecessary legal problems.  Supervisor training emphasizes how to determine when reasonable suspicion exists, detect and document signs of substance or alcohol abuse, and confront an individual who may be under the influence. You might be surprised that when co-workers become aware that their supervisor has completed a comprehensive training program for reasonable suspicion determinations, they think twice about coming to work in a condition that could compromise their employment.  Invest in training your supervisors or invest in becoming a trained supervisor so you are prepared to handle situations that arise.

There are many parts to the job of a supervisor.  Ongoing training is critical to success as a supervisor.  Drug and alcohol abuse affect life at home and in the workplace.  You or your supervisors are on the front line for your Company and the company, customers, and employees are counting on you to help keep your workplace safe and productive. Helping to prevent illegal use of drugs and abuse of alcohol is one way to work towards a safe and productive workplace.  This guide is all about safety and providing you information and tools to help keep your workplace safe and drug-free. This is an essential tool For all types of companies including a section for those with employees that fall under DOT regulations for drug and alcohol testing.

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Table of Contents:

Part 1

Introduction to Supervisor Training for Reasonable Suspicion Testing

Supervisor Responsibilities within the Drug-Free Workplace

What You Need to Know – Drugs

What You Need to Know – Alcohol

Understanding Drug & Alcohol Testing

Indicators of Drug & Alcohol Use – Signs & Symptoms

Reasonable Suspicion Determination & Testing

Supervisor Tips – Do’s and Don’ts

Part 2

DOT Overview – Reasonable Suspicion Testing

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

United States Coast Guard (USCG) (now with the Dept. of Homeland Security)

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Federal Transit Admin (FTA)

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

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