Employee Drug Testing Workplace Drug Testing
Drug-Free Workplace Program Management

"Employee drug testing is NOT about a company 'catching' employees using drugs. Employee drug testing is about preventing employee drug-use in the workplace. Employee drug testing is also about a company's LEGAL as well as its MORAL obligation and responsibility to keep its workplace a SAFE and HEALTHY environment for ALL its employees, customers, and vendors as well."  

-Ed Poole, OHS Inc. President/COO


Since 1988, “The Drug Testing Index”™ report has been updated and released annually by Quest Diagnostics Laboratories (6.7 million drug tests of USDOT-regulated and non-USDOT-regulated employees performed in 2012).  There is no longer any question:  ongoing employee drug testing results in dramatically lowering employee drug test “positivity” rates.  Check these statistics:

In 1988, 13.6% of the tested workforce were positive for one or more drugs

In 1991, 8.8% of the tested workforce were positive for one or more drugs

In 2001, 4.7% of the tested workforce were positive for one or more drugs

In 2012, 3.5% of of the tested workforce were positive for one or more drugs 

Great progress, yes; perfection, no!  But, see how effective ongoing employee drug testing has become?

Unfortunately, employers must continue employee drug testing today because employee drug-abuse continues today. OHS Inc. can help your company become and stay drug-free no matter where you are located in the USA, no matter how many locations you have nationwide. Contact us for a quote!


  • Just over 60% of the entire World's illicit drugs are consumed by the population living in just "one" country.
  • That "one" country is the United States...representing only 4.52% of the entire World's population.
  • Only 23% of our nation's drug-abusers are the "typically-portrayed" people sitting in abandoned buildings and back alleys of our cities "shooting up" heroin or "snorting coke".
  • The other 77% of drug-abusers are full or part-time EMPLOYED! (If you are not presently drug testing your employees, "some" of those 77% are most likely employed by your company!)

Employee drug testing SHOULD involve these six (6) "types" and "timings" of drug tests.

Separately administered, each of these six "types" of employee drug testing are important and effective "to an extent", especially, for their purpose of "timing".  But, when all six types are fully employed together, employee drug testing builds and maintains a solid Drug-Free Workplace.

Too few companies that do employee drug testing realize that "Random" drug tests and "Reasonable Suspicion" drug tests are actually the two MOST important and effective drug testing types to DETER employee workplace drug use. Unfortunately, both are less utilized by companies that drug test than "Pre-employment" drug tests. Yet, BOTH employee drug testing types offer MUCH more of the important deterrence effect. Employees doing drugs or dealing drugs in the workplace are far moreunlikely to do so when random drug testing is in place. Why?

Random drug testing is essentially "surprise" drug testing- once you are tapped on the shoulder, you can't opt out. On the other hand, pre-employment drug testing is the "easiest" of the six types of tests for job candidates to "pass". Your job applicants usually have sufficient advance notice of drug testing (i.e., the window from time of the interview invitation to time of the actual interview appointment). This helps drug-users to avoid drug testing that has a "Positive" result.

Further, even if your hiring ad does not state, "We require drug testing of all applicants."...today, the unemployed drug-user looking for work knows that the vast majority of companies are now doing at least "pre-employment" drug testing. This knowledge enables drug-user applicants to stay "clean" for enough hours (e.g., alcohol) or enough days (with many drugs, only 1-2 days needed) to then test "Negative" and get hired! If they DO use drugs or are alcoholics, what do you think they will do with their first paycheck???

Employers: to view just how short the time-frame is that most drugs are "detectable" by testing (e.g., in advance of a "Pre-employment" drug test) please click this link: Detection Time Frame
1. Pre-employment Employee Drug Testing

Pre-employment drug testing is the most common "type" of workplace drug testing employed in the general workforce. Legally, pre-employment drug testing can be required of a job candidate only after a "Conditional Offer of Employment" has been made. Companies with USDOT-regulated employees (transportation, oil-gas, etc.) are required under 49 CFR Part 40 to do pre-employment drug testing. That, as well as ALL the other types of the drug testing types defined below. Non-regulated companies are not required to do pre-employment drug tests. But each year, a growing percentage of non-regulated companies do so. Pre-employment drug testing is a good policy. It is a first-step in establishing and maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace. OHS, Inc. conducts pre-employment drug testing for Job Fairs anywhere in the USA!

2. Random Employee Drug Testing

Employee drug testing on a "random" basis is not as common as pre-employment drug testing. It should be. Random employee drug testing is the most effective type of employee drug testing for a company to employ for maintaining a drug-free workplace. The real purpose of random employee drug testing is NOT to "catch" employees that are using drugs. It is to prevent employee workplace drug abuse. Random employee drug testing is THE most effective deterrent of employee workplace drug-use. That's because "the fear of being caught" (and losing their job and income) is THE most effective deterrent.

Think about it: have you ever seen someone purposely accelerate their car through a "red" light (after the "yellow" light had already changed), and a POLICE CAR was ALSO in plain view? The smart company keeps their random drug testing program "high profile" and "well publicized". This ensures that ALL employees are aware of its frequent occurrence throughout the year. Employees consistently being reminded of the chance of being "randomly" selected for random drug testing "at anytime" and "without any advance warning" is the BEST employee drug testing "type" to deter workplace drug use. OHS, Inc. can provide random drug testing of your employees at your job site, anywhere in the USA!

3. Reasonable Suspicion (aka, "For Cause") Employee Drug Testing

Employee drug testing for "Reasonable Suspicion" is a type of drug testing too little utilized by companies. That is true even with those companies that routinely do both pre-employment drug testing and employee random drug testing. The reason is that most companies do not bother to get their supervisors and managers trained in how to recognize the "indicators" of employee drug use. Without proper training, supervisors and managers do not know what to do if they did!

The USDOT requires "Reasonable Suspicion" employee drug testing training for supervisors of companies with DOT-regulated employees. Because there is no such "law" or "regulation" requiring companies with non-regulated employees to do so, few of them do. That is a big mistake because of all six "types" of drug testing, testing done for "reasonable suspicion" results in "positive-for-drugs" at a higher percentage than for any of the other five types of drug tests.

OHS, Inc. offers a very effective "online"Reasonable Suspicion Supervisor Training program. We strongly recommend you put all your supervisors and managers through it even if you do not have DOT-regulated employees. It covers all the subjects of "Workplace Drug-Abuse Awareness" and "Reasonable Suspicion" employee drug testing required by the USDOT. Their training will definitely help keep your company's workplace - and your employees - much safer.

4. Post-accident Employee Drug Testing

Employee drug testing following an on-the-job accident has become somewhat a "standard" type of workplace drug testing for many companies. That is policy even for some companies that do not do any other type of employee drug testing. Why?

In most states, an employee that tests "positive" for one or more drugs immediately following an on-the-job accident may be legally subject to dismissal "for cause". They may sometimes also be held ineligible for certain benefits. Either or both unemployment insurance and Workers' Compensation can be lost! If your company does not now do post-accident testing, OHS Inc. strongly suggests that you BEGIN doing so!

5. Return to Duty Employee Drug Testing- for previously suspended employees

Employee drug testing as a condition of a "Return to Duty" is required of DOT-regulated employees. That is, "IF" their company's written Drug-Free Workplace Policy allows for re-hire after a drug testing policy rule violation. Return to Duty drug testing also requires a prior completion of a successful counseling by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) before re-hire. (DOT-regulated company drug testing policies are NOT required to allow for re-hire after a drug policy rule violation. But they must stipulate so if that is the case.)

Return to Duty drug testing is essentially a "pre-employment" test. The suspended employee is re-applying for the position they lost. OHS, Inc. strongly recommends that non-regulated companies that have a re-hire policy also implement this same DOT-required Return to Duty drug testing process.

6. Employee Drug Testing as "Follow-up"- applied only to previously suspended employees "if" re-hired

Follow-up employee drug testing is another DOT requirement upon re-hire. That is, if re-hire is allowed under company's written policy (see Return to Duty, above). A minimum of five (5) such "Follow-up" drug tests of the reinstated employee are required in the first 12 months following re-hire. Under DOT rules, these five Follow-up drug tests must be scheduled "randomly" throughout the year. They are to be administered IN ADDITION TO any employee drug testing ALSO required of the employee under "Random", "Reasonable Suspicion", or "Post-accident" causes during the same 12 months.

OHS, Inc. manages employee drug testing, workplace drug testing, and Drug Free Workplace Programs for companies nationwide.  Please call or email us for a no-obligation quote!