OSHA To Ban Post Accident Drug Testing…Or Does It. 

By Phil La Duke

According to fellow security blogger, Jon Hyman of the Ohio OSHA Law Weblog “Buried in OSHA’s impending final rule on electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses is this little nugget. OSHA believes that you violate the law if you demand an employee to take a post-accident drug test. Let me repeat. According to OSHA, you violate the law if you automatically drug test any employee right after an on-the-job accident.”

I’m not going to reprint all of John’s post but you should give it a very good read. I am not a lawyer nor do I play 1 on Television and according to his bio he is, so if I say anything that contradicts him his opinion trumps mine. 

That becoming the case, I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusion that OSHA forbids post accident drug testing in ALL circumstances, as I read by means of the post and the links supplied I noticed that in all circumstances where OSHA was quoted it utilised words like “automatically” and “blanket” when referring to post injury drug testing. 

The repeated use of words like automatic and blanket would look to me (again not a lawyer) to indicate that there nonetheless could be some post accident drug testing in situations where there is reasonable lead to to think that the person or persons involved in an injury was intoxicated or beneath the influence of drugs of some sort.

I was thought that post incident drug testing was shortsighted and reactionary the time to guarantee that your workforce is drug-free of charge is before a person is killed by some drug addled employee. Just as it is prudent to address workplace violencebefore somebody comes in and most everybody down with a machine gun.

Normal readers of this blog will recognize the soapbox I’m about to mount which is we’ve got to stop worrying about preventing injuries and start off proactively causing safety contact it “positive safety” if you favor but as lengthy as we tried for vent injuries with sensually count bodies. Personally I would rather measures to be taken just before the truth to make sure that I am match for duty.

I’m currently the production security consultant two huge key motion picture. Folks ask me what if folks are following the rules, am I writing anyone up, and so on. I answerthis way “I’m not your mother, I’m not your boss, I’m not OSHA, I’m not the cops. What I am is somebody who can advise you such that you can make the ideal choices and make informed decisions about your safety ultimately the selection as to whether or not not to stick to the guidelines, observe safety protocols, put on PPE,and abstain from drugs or alcohol even though on the job is yours and yours alone.”

We have a tendency to lose sight of that when we get in the thick of things and exactly where we are in the location exactly where the workers are carrying out the actual tasks. It gets simple to see yourself is accountable for making positive that they work safely when in reality that is the job of their supervisor.  

What does all this have to do with the OSHA ruling? We require to guarantee that organizations have policies and procedures for guaranteeing that workers are match for duty. That could imply drug intoxication, it could mean impairment by prescription drugs,  it could imply sleep deprived, or just physically or mentally  unfit for the duties essential for the Job to which their assigned.

This new OSHA interpretation is a excellent factor it is meant to take the fear out of reporting injuries the belief is if someone knows that they are specific to fail a drug test soon after they have been injured—even although they use these drugs rec area it recreationally on their off time— They are far far more most likely to underreport.

In my Pinyan below reporting and the self delusional attitude so many organizations have relating to their security records is the greatest threat to worker safety that we presently face. Pretending there is no dilemma when there is considerable risk—the first aid kits are stripped bare, no near misses are reported, safety experts be concerned a lot more about Worker’s Comp. case management then lowering risk and no injuries are reported— creates an ideal climate for severe injury or fatality.

The fact that OSHA is forcing companies to rewrite arbitrary guidelines that would tend to result in a reasonable individual to deliberately concealing injury indicates that we can have the chance to replace these antiquated rules with guidelines and procedures that are far a lot more likely to lessen danger and result in security. 


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