Reasonable Suspicion Training: A Supervisor’s Guide

Last updated on September 25, 2018

Though all the employees follow the company rules and regulations, you will still find those that do not. That is why it is important to know how to deal with those that do not follow the rules and regulations of drugs and alcohol in the work place.

Reasonable suspicion training will help the supervisors to keep those who are affected with the problem in check. For the organization to do this, they will have to be equipped with knowledge on how the drugs and alcohol affects the body so that they can detect when an employee is under the effect. It is important that the supervisors have the skill and know how to approach such workers.

SUSPICION TRAINING
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The Selection Process

It is important that all the supervisors of an organization have the reasonable suspicion training. The course includes training on alcohol and drugs abuse. The behavior, speech, performance and physical indicators of the employee are misusing drugs and alcohol. If you have detected that an employee is using them, you can test them and if the test is advanced, you send it to a lab.

This is a very important responsibility and that is why it should be given to a supervisor who can deliver. The organization should select someone who is keen and knows the behavior of the employees he or she is supervising.

What are the goals for reasonable suspicion training?

After completing the program, this are the goals that a supervisor should hope to achieve: –

  • At the end of training, you should know the regulations that should be met when doing reasonable suspicion training.
  • Be able to point out the symptoms of someone who is taking drugs and alcohol.
  • If you note that someone is abusing the substance, you will be taught how to approach them with respect.
  • You will know how to go about the process of reasonable suspicion testing.
  • You will be taught how to fill out all the documentation that is required.
  • After the training, you will be confident in dealing with anything that is related to reasonable suspicion testing responsibility and testing.

Regulation Requirement

After completing the training of reasonable suspicion training, you will be aware of the regulation requirement that is required of the person that is suspected of abusing a substance. If a supervisor suspects that an employee is taking drugs and alcohol they will ask them to take a test. This tests include oral lab test, urine lab test and breathalyzer.

The supervisors initiating this process should have already gone for a reasonable suspicion training. That’s when they will be able to clearly observe the behavior of an employee, the body odors, the speech and appearance of the employee who is believed to have been abusing a substance. The worker may also have the withdrawal symptoms and that’s when the supervisors is allowed to do a reasonable suspicion test.

After the supervisors have clear proof that the employee is taking drugs and alcohol, they have to start the documentation process.  They have to do this within 24 hours from the time he or she determined the reasonable suspicion. After that the documents should be signed and the samples sent to the relevant labs to determine if truly the identified employee is abusing a substance. The results depending with the method will take 1 to 5 working days. Then a medical officer will review the results before sending them back.

The different types of tests

Alcohol tests

This test is allowed to be carried out if the observation of an employee is made if they are about to start working, in the process of doing work, and after doing work. The person who determines there is a reasonable suspicion in this case, should prepare the documentation so as to carry out a test. This test should be done within two hours of observation and if it is not, it should be documented that a reasonable suspicion was not given. After Eight hours making the reasonable suspicion and still the test is not done, all plans of doing the test should be stopped and recorded that the test was not done. The employee who is suspected of abusing a substance should not be let to do any work unless they are tested and it is proven their alcohol level is not above 0.02.

Drug testing

When a reasonable suspicion is made that a worker is on drugs while on duty, a drug test maybe required. The organization is not required to take any action against the employee who they suspect of using drugs until they have proven the kind of drugs. In this case the tests must be done and sent to a lab to analyze the kind of drug. It is also important to note that the employee maybe on drugs that are prescribed by a doctor or they may have bought over the counter. If they have been prescribed the drug, tell them to bring a letter from the doctor.

The one who is allowed to handle this process is a trained supervisor and he or she should be the one who has been supervising this particular employee so he or she knows when they are not themselves. On noticing the employee is under the influence, they should relieve them of their duties of the day, so that he or she does not injure others. The supervisors should also handle the whole process with care.

Reasonable suspicion process

Reasonable suspicion training is very important as it helps the supervisor know of a problem before it escalate. Having workers who use drugs and alcohol are not only a danger to themselves but also to their coworkers. They will also make the company lose a lot because they are not always productive. Reasonable suspicion is done by the supervisors who are trained, here is a process of how it should be carried out step by step: –

  1. Observation– This is the first step to identify if an employee is abusing a substance. You will notice certainbehaviors that are not usual, the speech and physical appearance.
  2. Confirmation– After observing, you may try and talk to the employee and you may notice that they do not talk as they are used to. The body odors will also help you to confirm if they are taking drugs and alcohol. If you are a trained supervisor, noticing these and confirming will be very easy.
  3. Documentation– State clearly what you have observed, the behavior, appearance, speech and body orders of the employee.
  4. Confrontation– Confront the employee calmly in a secluded place. Let them know what you have observed. Tell them why you will have to take a drug and alcohol test. Relieve them of their duties of the day for safety purposes.
  5. Test– direct the employee to take the test. if the test is not taken onsite let them know the lab that the test will be taken in.

Reasonable suspicion training is very important for a supervisor. All the supervisors in organizations should be enrolled in it. Substance abuse is very ramped today and most of these people are also found in our organization. When you enroll for this training, you are taught on how to deal with such people and issues. The supervisors will know how to point out someone who is using drugs and alcohol from the rest. This is done by observing their behavior, appearance, speech and their body odors. When they confirm that the particular employee is abusing the substance they will confront them and ask them to carry out a test which will determine if they are using the drug or taking alcohol. The employee should also be taken out of their working place for safety purposes.

Dealing with reasonable suspicion problems can bring a lot of good to the organization. When employees have this problem, they are bound to cause harm to their coworkers. Their level of production will also go down and they are also absent from work or always spacing out when working. Every organization should take their supervisors for this course at least every year, if there are any new materials. There are numerous training institutions and they carry out their training both online and in their institutions. As an organization, you will choose the method of training that is best suited for your supervisors. After the training they will have knowledge on how to observe and know an employee who is abusing a substance, how to approach them and get more information. Documenting all that they have observed and confirmed and later taking the test or sending them to a lab. They will also know how to deal with an employee who has tested positive and help him or her to get the right help for their problem. Reasonable suspicion training is very important for an organization. It is a must for all organizations today, because it will help them reach all their goals.

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