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In August, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revised the rules on how employers report incidents and whether or not strict requirements for post-incident drug testing are allowable. The impact of the regulation changes is not totally clear at this time and EctoHR continues to monitor available guidance and case information to ensure that our clients are in compliance with the updated regulations.
What is known at this time is that OSHA believes that requiring drug testing for all incidents likely has an impact of keeping employees from reporting accidents and injuries. The final rule, which will take effect on December 1st, 2016 could mean fines for employers who use blanket post-incident drug testing policies, and recommends that testing should only be done if there is reasonable suspicion that drug or alcohol use contributed to the incident.
Heading into 2017, employers will likely need to update their employee handbook and safety programs to conform to the new OSHA guidelines. Additionally, OSHA announced that it intends to publish certain incident reports on a public website, which may lead to public scrutiny for employers that have incidents that OSHA believes are worth sharing with the general public. Lastly, employers may be in a position to receive extra oversight from OSHA for any employee that is terminated or laid off following an incident, given that one of OSHA’s primary goals is to eliminate retaliation against employees that are involved in or report incidents.
EctoHR will provide follow up communication regarding these updated OSHA regulations as soon as there is additional clarification.
For information on drug testing policy and procedure best-practices, please contact EctoHR, Inc. at 810-534-0170 or email@example.com.