The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued its final rule to revise the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Regulation. The final rule, which took effect August 10, 2016, increases the employer’s responsibility to make certain that employees report workplace injuries and illnesses.
Most notably, OSHA’s comments associated with the revised regulation state its intention to closely monitor employer post-accident drug testing policies as they may deter injury reporting.
According to OSHA, drug testing policies can now only permit post-accident testing in circumstances under which drug use likely contributed to the event, and in which the drug test can correctly ascertain any impairment produced by drug use. While post-accident drug testing remains allowable as part of the final rule, it can no longer be mandated for all employees and situations unless the employer can show that in their particular circumstances a blanket policy does not deter reporting of injuries and does not constitute retaliation for reporting.
Note that OSHA indicated in a news release that it will not begin enforcing the new rule until November 1, 2016, but you are strongly advised to check with OSHA to ensure you are in compliance.
U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group is prepared to assist our clients regarding any policy changes they make that will affect their drug testing programs. We recommend that clients meet with their legal and human resources departments to review their policies as this communication is not intended as legal advice. If any changes are needed in regards to your protocols, please let us know and we would be happy to help you.
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