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Construction Insurance Bulletin

Drug Testing Policy Details For Your Construction Independent Contractors

By March 6, 2018 No Comments

The construction industry relies on independent contractors who perform specialized services like plumbing, painting and drywall installation. To prioritize safety on the job site and ensure quality work, consider implementing a drug testing policy for the independent contractors you hire.

Benefits of Drug Testing

Regular drug testing promotes safety on the job site. Additionally, it improves productivity and quality of work, lowers absenteeism and boosts morale.

Your company also builds your reputation when you implement drug testing for your independent contractors. In certain cases, you can lose contracts and be blacklisted from jobs if your independent contractors work while they’re visibly high or otherwise produce shoddy work because of drug use. Protect your business and reputation when you implement a drug testing policy.

Prepare a Contract

When you work with an independent contractor, you both typically sign a contract that outlines the exact project, timeline and pay rate. Include your drug testing policy in this contract.

Consult your specific state’s laws regarding drug testing as you prepare the contract. Check with your construction insurance agent for details on any drug testing protocols they require, too.

Typically, you may perform a drug test on every new independent contractor and after an accident when you suspect drug use was involved. You may also choose to perform random drug testing if you have reasonable suspicion of drug use, which includes:

  • Direct observation of drug use or associated symptoms such as uncoordinated movements, slurred speech or erratic behavior.
  • Reports from reliable sources that the independent contractor is using drugs.
  • Evidence of tampering with drug test results.

The independent contractors who apply to work for you must agree to your drug testing policy. You are then responsible to enforce it equally for all employees.

Select a Drug Testing Company

Most drug testing occurs in an independent third-party facility that’s certified by the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA). You will schedule the appointment, and the independent contractor is responsible to drive to the facility where he or she will provide a urine sample. You receive test results in several hours or several days depending on the facility and results.

Address the Test Results

If the independent contractor tests positive for drugs or refuses to take the test, you must perform disciplinary action, which can include dismissal. Exceptions include a positive test for prescribed medications that the employee reported and takes responsibly. Outline your dismissal procedure in the employment contract to reduce surprises and liability for improper discipline.

As a construction professional, you must maintain safety and quality on the job site. Drug testing can help, so create a specific drug testing policy for your independent contractors.