Gregory C. Krueger, M. Div., MSW, LCSW
DOT Qualified Substance Abuse Professional

Safety Concerned Employers (non DOT Regulated)
Consider this scenario:    You own or manage a manufacturing company and you have employees that operate a machine or process that has an inherent safety risk.  In an effort to keep your workplace safe and free from drugs of abuse, you have wisely implemented a random drug testing program.  You receive the results from your latest round of random testing and learn that one of your employees has tested positive for cocaine.  What do you do?

Do you:

1.  return the employee to work based on his or her promise not to use again?

2.  suspend the employee for 3 days or until he or she submits a clean drug test?

3.  ignore the test result?

4.  inform the employee to get some counseling or go to AA or NA before returning?

5.  suspend the employee until he or she has been evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional, and complied with all of the recommendations made to the employee?


Options 1-4 expose you and your company to tremendous liability if the employee is subsequently involved in a work site accident and was found to have even small traces of drugs or alcohol in a post accident test.  Employers who have ignored positive tests or who have not taken responsible evaluation measures have been found negligent for returning a known substance abusing employee to work. 

Best Practices:

 If you want to retain the employee, it is your best interest to require professional evaluation, recommendations compliance checks and a safe return to work notification before considering returning the employee to work.  It is prudent to have these employees referred to a Substance Abuse Professional who utilizes the “best practices” model of case management demanded by the Department of Transportation’s Rules about drug/alcohol testing and rehabilitation  This model eliminates any direct or indirect financial conflict of interest in the making of sound clinical decisions.

For additional information, please feel free to contact me at (314) 275-8114 or click here.

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