OSHA recently released guidance regarding post-accident drug testing. Law firm Graydon Head & Ritchey explains the implications.
OSHA opposes blanket post-accident drug testing because the agency believes mandatory drug tests can discourage employees from reporting a safety violation.
The agency recommends limiting drug testing to incidents where there is a reasonable possibility that drug use contributed to the reported incident and the drug testing measures impairment and not just use. The guidance does not affect post-accident testing done by an employer to comply with federal regulations or testing permitted by state specific workers’ compensation laws. E
mployers are concerned that the new rule is solely based on how workers perceive a drug test and not an employer’s intent. Employers are encouraged to review their policies to assess when and how drug tests are conducted. Although the guidance establishes the standard for how OSHA will evaluate postaccident testing, it’s still unclear what will happen when and if employers challenge OSHA’s new direction.