“This property is protected by guard dog four nights a week,
you guess which four!”
As with the above phrase, a successful deterrent effect is the key outcome for any random Alcohol & Other Drug (AOD) testing program.
A random testing program will only create the required deterrent when done correctly. Plus, it involves much more than simply having employees draw straws.
Many employers seem to confuse and overcomplicate their random drug and alcohol testing programs. Random by its very nature can be confusing. However such confusion should never apply to your Drug and Alcohol Management Program (DAMP).
Let us define random in the context of alcohol and other drug random testing programs. Random means
“anyone, anywhere, anytime – during working hours”.
When planning an effective random AOD testing program, consider the following:
Set your minimum testing frequency to suit your workplace risk profile.
For example, an average of one random test per person per annum may suit administration type businesses whilst an average of four or more tests per person per annum may be required for industrial sites.
Use common sense and practicality in your approach.
Recognise that administration workers who are on site at all times during working hours will likely be random selected more often than a mobile sales representative who is rarely in the office.
Be sure to plan for these contingencies.
Shift commencement is not the only time suitable for random testing. Testing visits conducted anytime across any shift ensures a real deterrent is maintained. It is important to schedule some random testing following meal breaks for example.
Offer alcohol “self-testing” equipment to assist your employees in managing themselves to attend the workplace fit for work.
Communication is key.
Keep your independent testing provider advised of changes in your workplace such as shift time changes and staff changes to ensure ongoing efficiencies are maintained.
Random selection process.
Allow your independent testing provider to conduct the actual random selections so your employees can be confident in the fairness of the selection process.
Keep everyone guessing.
Ensure your testing provider keeps your employees guessing as to when the next random visit will take place. Two separate site visits to the same site on consecutive days every so often can keep your employees on their toes.