We’re often asked how AlertMeter® fits in an existing drug and alcohol testing program in a workplace, so here are a couple of real stories about how companies are using AlertMeter® in coordination with their existing policies.
When Seeking New Hires
Just yesterday, a new customer said that one reason they are adopting AlertMeter® testing is that two-thirds of job applicants at their company had been turned away because marijuana is detected in their pre-employment drug test.
So, they revised their company policies. If the pre-employment screening is positive for the presence of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that may be present in the body for up to 30 days), the company has an immediate conversation with the applicant about the company’s expectations.
In that conversation, the HR person tells the applicant there is zero tolerance for impairment of any type during work hours, be it from alcohol, marijuana, or other recreational substances that alter performance and put others at risk, and that impairment at work is grounds for termination.
If they are hired, the new employee will sign an offer letter that outlines their agreement to the zero-tolerance policy, which goes on to say that performance testing will also be a part of their regular routine. Performance testing, such as with AlertMeter®, can help identify people who may be struggling with alertness in real time. Most employees take the test every day when they come in to work.
an Alternative to Random Drug Testing
Another company started using AlertMeter® alongside their random drug testing program, which they realized was working against them in a state where recreational marijuana had been legalized. A small, close-knit business, they wanted to send a clear message that safety was paramount but that they weren’t going to pretend that a random drug test of a handful of people each month was effective in keeping their workers safe.
Eventually, they dropped the random testing program entirely, as all employees use AlertMeter® every day. Using AlertMeter® has also helped them identify other reasons for employees being dangerously off-focus, such as extreme fatigue and emotional distress – situations which are as much of a safety risk as intoxication but would not prompt a punitive response. If an employee’s performance on the daily test is far outside their normal range and the supervisor’s observation of the employee leads to reasonable suspicion of intoxication, a drug test may then be required. In any case of atypical performance, AlertMeter® test results are used as an objective way to begin a safety conversation.
Interestingly, the company has also noted that by using AlertMeter® at the start of shift, employees are less likely to be sluggish and only half-awake as they come onto the shop floor. Instead, they are more mentally and physically prepared when they arrive because they have to declare themselves fit for work through their performance on the AlertMeter® test.
We Have the Preventative Safety Solutions You Need
These are just a couple of ways in which performance testing demonstrates the expectation that employees must present themselves as fit for work at the start of a shift. These examples also show that old methods of testing and reacting are becoming increasingly incompatible with the modern workplace.