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    Default Setting up drug free workplace / testing

    Any one here done it and recommendations please ?
    Found out lately our apprentice has been smoking daily since 13,
    explains a lot of things now. At least he admitted it
    otherwise I would of never known. I'm a bit of a naive
    country boy and that shit crap garbage is totaly foreign to me.
    I also suspect a past trouble making employee was on weed now
    as well


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    I wouldn't bother, time, expense, legal crap.

    If you have a crappy employee.... Fire them.... for being crappy, not what they do on their own time.

    Down here, being on "drugs" is a disease, and you can end up on the hook for rehab and all that, and then not be able to fire them.

    Besides, wouldn't it really suck if your best guy, unknown to you, liked to spark up on the weekend, or after work to unwind? Then what do you do? A lot of people smoke pot, not my thing, but a lot of people do.

    What you really want to get rid of is the habitual drunk, and the meth heads, and they screw up enough(attendance and screw ups) to get themselves fired anyways.

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    We had a guy or 2 who's lunch seemed to always cause red eyes, must have been really spicy sandwiches... and the work did suck. If they do it at home on a weekend and do good work in the week, their thing, but during work hours, hell no. Best thing probably is to let him go, but at the same time there's a very high number of people now with such "hobbies", not to mention the legal pain killer meds, lots welders/fabricators on those for back pain and such that are as bad, if not worse and usually ok in the work place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    I wouldn't bother, time, expense, legal crap.

    If you have a crappy employee.... Fire them.... for being crappy, not what they do on their own time.

    Down here, being on "drugs" is a disease, and you can end up on the hook for rehab and all that, and then not be able to fire them.

    Besides, wouldn't it really suck if your best guy, unknown to you, liked to spark up on the weekend, or after work to unwind? Then what do you do? A lot of people smoke pot, not my thing, but a lot of people do.

    What you really want to get rid of is the habitual drunk, and the meth heads, and they screw up enough(attendance and screw ups) to get themselves fired anyways.
    Whilst I do not partake myself (illegal in my state, plus just not a fan personally), I have a number of friends and acquaintances who, regardless of what the federal gov't says, gain great benefit from the herb. They happen to live in 'medical' states, state legal and approved, so all good there, right? Wrong.

    I'm not sure what Canada's laws are, but if there is any decriminalization in effect, it becomes a PITA for you to deal with. What I might suggest, take a look at the NORML site, they have a section for employers and have information on testing policies. One BIG difference between a blanket policy and theirs is the recommendation for use of blood testing, which can determine, just like alcohol, if someone is presently high. The old cup test burns those who might toke it up on the weekend or at a party on New Years or something. I feel my time is my time as long as it doesn't impact work. I drink occasionally, but I wouldn't expect to drink at work or show up drunk. Similarly, my company shouldn't be allowed to tell me I can't partake in a few pints of Guinness on Saturday night.

    You did say smoked, so I assumed you were referring to the herb and not other smokeables... THOSE should have no place in society regardless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SND View Post
    We had a guy or 2 who's lunch seemed to always cause red eyes, must have been really spicy sandwiches... and the work did suck. If they do it at home on a weekend and do good work in the week, their thing, but during work hours, hell no. Best thing probably is to let him go, but at the same time there's a very high number of people now with such "hobbies", not to mention the legal pain killer meds, lots welders/fabricators on those for back pain and such that are as bad, if not worse and usually ok in the work place.
    Tough shit. I've been on pain meds since 98 when I caught a load of falling steel with my shoulders in the USN. to this very day, even at my day job behind a desk, I refuse to take anything more than advil or tylenol while working. My home shop similarly has a zero tolerance policy, for me and anyone visiting. If the pain is so bad I can't function, I don't need to be functioning. I suck it up till the day is done. For the record, 7 discs in various states of screwed up, as well as arthritis and alignment problems, and I was a welder. I realize people handle pain different, but if half a tab is enough to take the edge off and keep you clear, that's what you need, no call to take the full dose just because you can.

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    If you start testing don't be suprised if a really good guy or two test positive. I haven't smoked pot since high school, but I know some smart succesful guys who still do.

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    Great money maker for testing facilities...

    I'll echo what Bob and others have said, waste of time and money.

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    Thanks for replies guys, drug users just rub me wrong. Up to me to deal with it I guess. Thing is I like the kid, he has talent and we can have him do anything fairly well from operate cnc, edm, grind, clean and help us maintain equipment. Conv. mill and lathe will require a bit more time. Like BobW said, maybe too much hassel for a small shop. I'll think up another approach, more like one on one. At least this kid wants to stop and actually feels frustrated to have been smoking up for 11 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip59 View Post
    Tough shit. I've been on pain meds since 98 when I caught a load of falling steel with my shoulders in the USN. to this very day, even at my day job behind a desk, I refuse to take anything more than advil or tylenol while working. My home shop similarly has a zero tolerance policy, for me and anyone visiting. If the pain is so bad I can't function, I don't need to be functioning. I suck it up till the day is done. For the record, 7 discs in various states of screwed up, as well as arthritis and alignment problems, and I was a welder. I realize people handle pain different, but if half a tab is enough to take the edge off and keep you clear, that's what you need, no call to take the full dose just because you can.

    Tough shit. You should be a real man and not take anything! EVER! (sarcasm)

    Jeff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurentian View Post
    T At least this kid wants to stop and actually feels frustrated to have been smoking up for 11 years.
    When you want to stop smoking pot, you simply just stop smoking pot. There are no physical withdrawls. When I was in college and decided to stop, I just stopped, it was even there all the time(room mate). Its certainly not like cigarettes.

    I've noticed and read that smoking pot when you are young, developing years, and lots of it can screw you up. I've seen it, kind of sad, its like they never mature, especially if they don't stop. I've also seen people that started in college and you'd never know.

    So.. What is the kid doing thats so bad? If he's coming in stoned and its affecting (or is it Effecting?) his performance, suspend him for a few days. When he knows his job is on the line, and he comes up a baggie short in his check, he'll wake up.

    When I was 22 I had an awesome boss, I learned a lot from him, he was fair, as long as you weren't an idiot. Just a really good smart guy, but he didn't take any shit. Anyways, for some reason or another, I came into work late hungover one too many times. I got a day off without pay. He didn't belittle me, he just told me flat out, "we already had the talk, now I need to show you I mean business, I don't want to do it, but you forced me to".

    That was a little smack in the face, but I agreed with him. A year later he pulled my file from HR and let me rip up the disciplinary paperwork myself. Just a little wake up call that some kids need when they are young and stupid and still know everything.

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    Dont do it. If you dont fire them you are responsible for any accidents because you knowingly employed illegal drug users, the best way to handle it is to make them take a drug test after an accident then you will have cause to fire them if they test positive, and you wont have to pay unemployment. My brother has 100 employees and I would bet at least 70 are either drunk or on drugs while at work. He doesnt test until they mess up then they go and get tested so that he can fire them with cause, no one has ever gotten tested they all have quit first.

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    Don't use myself, and never did--but I have a good friend who does weed, and was out of work (excellent worker BTW-we met when he worked for me) and had to stay clean to pass any tests that might be part of a new job. He was telling me the unfairness of drug testing. The hard stuff is out of your system in a matter of days, but pot--probably the least addictive and performance degrading of all -- the piss test will show a positive on weeks later.

    Herb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip59 View Post
    Tough shit. I've been on pain meds since 98 when I caught a load of falling steel with my shoulders in the USN. to this very day, even at my day job behind a desk, I refuse to take anything more than advil or tylenol while working. My home shop similarly has a zero tolerance policy, for me and anyone visiting. If the pain is so bad I can't function, I don't need to be functioning. I suck it up till the day is done. For the record, 7 discs in various states of screwed up, as well as arthritis and alignment problems, and I was a welder. I realize people handle pain different, but if half a tab is enough to take the edge off and keep you clear, that's what you need, no call to take the full dose just because you can.
    That's very open minded of you. I had lumber back trouble for 14 years when I finally missed so much work I had to go in for surgery or get fired.

    The surgeon botched the job and now I'm in more pain, and It's constant pain.

    I've been on the Duragesic patch, Demerol and Percocet for 16 years. I take a MINIMUM of 3 Percocet per day, every day. The total, so far, is is in excess of 16,000 Percocet alone. To get any sleep takes a Demerol or two to keep the pain at bay long enough to allow me to get SOME sleep.

    Advil or Tylenol? I'm glad all you have is a splinter.

    This allows me to get out of bed and walk with a cane. It also allows me to do such strenuous things as wipe my own ass.

    "Suck it up" is an easy thing for someone to say that has no idea what pain really is.

    If I don't tell someone what drugs I take they have no idea by my actions. Well, other than the fact that if I DON'T take the drugs I am unable to walk or function.

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    from an employee`s perspective.

    it is a huge waste of time,money and resources.

    why?? because you will never catch the real tweekers.

    who you will catch will be the afforementioned guy who takes a toke at the weekend poker game.

    the real tweekers have honed their addiction to a fine art and have all sorts of ways to beat the system. many times even their own families are unaware that the problem exists.

    even in the very rare case you do catch one prepare for the "i`m an addict" defense.

    and then depending on your state laws you may be footing the bill or at least the time for treatment.

    then there is the resentment that comes from being treated like a criminal to appease the "random" aspect.

    when you have to pee in a cup with your pockets turned inside out while some jerk watches, trust me, you resent it.

    do that to your best guy and see how long he stays your best guy.

    i have personally seen this crap destroy a small business. all for a "break" on insurance. all supposed "savings" get more than eaten up in time lost for testing. and the cost of the test itself.

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    I recently went thru the drug free workplace application process. First, you must evaluate your motives for doing this.

    In my case, the employer was interested in saving money. If this is your goal then don't waste your time. The testing and training requirements exceed any savings on insurance. And unlike taxes, you can't increase your bottom line by misrepresenting the facts. Your insurance company will verify DFW compliance annually before you get the discount.

    Second, you need to actually get the paperwork for your state or province and study it. Employers have more stories and opinions on this subject than Sister Theresa has anecdotes for why you shouldn't skip Sunday school to go swimming. They are of similar validity.

    I can tell you that using a positive piss test as an excuse to fire someone who gets hurt on the job can seriously backfire. Blatant safety violations will trump a piss test every time. My employer was trying to pull this one. When I pointed out the circumstances leading to the accidents, along with the cost and paperwork for DFW compliance, they quietly paid the bills and let the matter drop.

    Unless you have moral/ethical/ideological reasons for compliance it usually isn't worth the effort in a small company.

    Doug

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    Default If you do decide to implement drug testing...

    Okay, lets assume for a moment that you do implement full "random" testing.

    You should (actually, MUST) have an outside firm do this. Pharmacy purchased tests might be okay for home use, but will not stand up for any formal criminal, or civil action.

    Okay, so you've checked out the legal history of the firm you've contracted with and, so far, all their appearences in court have 'stood up,' i.e., their proceedures and testimony are fully validated.

    Everyone in your firm must be included in testing. All employees, the stock boy, the two forklift operators, the secretary and bookkeeper, and YOU!

    Yes, You. When the testing firm shows up, you must be the first one required to pee in the speciman cup, and the troops should see you standing in the same line, filling out the same paperwork, as Mr. Junior Nobody.

    Also insure your employee manual states that drug testing is required for all; line employees, supervisors, admin. staff. Also, I suggest putting up signs both in the break room, and at each entrance, that reads "Drug-free Workplace." And where job applicants sit to fill out any pre-employment paperwork (i.e., before the initial interview) another sign that reads "Drug Testing is Performed before any Hiring Decision, and during the work year."

    Be sure whatever wording you choose has been reviewed by your company lawyer to insure it meets your local laws/standards.

    One key to making this work is if you are seeking any kind of work from Government. Usually the government requires certain administrative rules. For example, under Federal Acquisition Regulations the U.S. Government forbids firms from using prisoners (ex-felons are okay, its those that are on work-release, i.e., "active" prisoners that are prohibited.) So your lawyer should advise you on what local laws/regulations will pertain to the whole process.

    Then, once you've a detailed list of requirements, have your accountant determine how much your cashflow will be impacted for initial startup, then follow-on costs.

    And as others above have mentioned, only then can you make a sound determination if you should/will implement pre-hire and on-going random drug testing.

    One final note... if/when you start searching for a drug testing firm, be sure to ask for a breakdown of what the various tests they can do, and what the cost is. If all you are interested in is grass/weed, that will be one price. If you want to add meth. ("Speed"), that is an additional cost. Toss in coke and smack and now you are reaching for some real cash outlay.

    Stan Db

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    Quote Originally Posted by flutedchamber View Post
    That's very open minded of you. I had lumber back trouble for 14 years when I finally missed so much work I had to go in for surgery or get fired.

    The surgeon botched the job and now I'm in more pain, and It's constant pain.

    I've been on the Duragesic patch, Demerol and Percocet for 16 years. I take a MINIMUM of 3 Percocet per day, every day. The total, so far, is is in excess of 16,000 Percocet alone. To get any sleep takes a Demerol or two to keep the pain at bay long enough to allow me to get SOME sleep.

    Advil or Tylenol? I'm glad all you have is a splinter.

    This allows me to get out of bed and walk with a cane. It also allows me to do such strenuous things as wipe my own ass.

    "Suck it up" is an easy thing for someone to say that has no idea what pain really is.

    If I don't tell someone what drugs I take they have no idea by my actions. Well, other than the fact that if I DON'T take the drugs I am unable to walk or function.
    Well, perhaps my point didn't come across, or folks focused on only a part of it. The point was that taking the absolute minimum to take the edge off and remain functional is different than someone who can get by on half a perc taking their full dose. I've known lots of folks through the doc visits, pain management visits, physical therapy, etc. Some were like me and took as little or none if possible, some would take all they had a script for because it made the pain go away and make them feel better.

    I was a welder, I'm not a welder now. Several things factored in, the main being the Navy wouldn't let me anymore, but the other was, I had to be stoned on pain meds to be able to physically do the job. I re-trained and am now in a position where I can deal with it at work, and be medicated and comfortable when needed.

    Real pain... 3 disks in my lumbar, 2 at t6/t7 and 2 at C4/C5. Doc says more will follow as my back is so out of whack it's stressing other areas (started with one in my neck and two in my lumbar in 98 from the accident. Also arthritis at several places corresponding to those discs. There's the knee that needs replaced, the shoulder I'm waiting for the FDA to approve a procedure on, none of which can I afford to have surgery on... So, I get 3-4 hours physical work now and have to stop due to pain. So, I stop due to pain rather than take pain meds and keep going. Prescriptions, name it, I've been on it. I know real pain, the problems throw spasms so bad I can't breathe at times, other times the nerve damage combined with aggrivation will cause my leg or legs to go weak.

    Not trying to start a flame war or hijack a thread, just trying to explain my point of view. There are many different circumstances, no one statement can cover everything, but there's a difference between you and someone with a strained back popping percs all day long so they feel better than they did before they hurt their back

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    If you don´t have a problem with harder drugs in the shop then let the sleeping dogs lie.

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    It's funny how people have been trained to think of "drugs".

    Alcohol...No problem if you drink on your own time, just not at work.

    Pot....We can test you, and even if your just smoking on your own time, then we can fire you. Yet alcohol kills(Shit, i don't even know how many) tons of people yearly. Pot...none that i'm aware of.


    Also....

    If you have pain, we can prescribe you opiates by the truckload(Leaving you chained with what rivals a "legal" heroin addiction).
    But no Pot for pain/anything, even if it helps..Just crazy thinking.

    If there really is a way to test them to see if their actually high on the job, i would make it clear that it won't be tolerated, and that testing can/will happen if suspected. It might slow his "Roll" a little.

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    If you are really interested in workplace safety, and making sure that nobody is operating potentially dangerous machines/processes while impaired, what you should consider is some form of "fitness for duty" testing, rather than drug tests. These tests will weed out people who are IMPAIRED ON THE JOB, whether said impairment is caused by lack of sleep, illness, stress, personal problems, or alcohol/drug use. Most of these tests take the form of a simple "video game", where employees have to follow a moving spot on a screen with a stylus, track a point of light with their eyes, etc. Each employee would need to perform the test before beginning their shift, and results are logged electronically. One manufacturer of testing equipment:

    PMI Inc. - FIT 2000 Fitness for Duty Impairment Screener

    More on the advantages of FFD testing over drug tests:

    Fit for Duty

    Drug tests are invasive to employee's privacy, are easily defeated by savvy drug users, have a poor record of false positives and cross-reactions with legal substances, engender resentment among workers, and do absolutely NOTHING to protect you from employees who are hung over, stressed out, sleep deprived, physically ill, or otherwise just as impaired as someone who is stoned on the job.

    Unless what you really want to pursue is your own personal "culture war" against pot smokers, rather than actually creating a safer workplace, drug tests generally suck.

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