In order to test its members for drugs and alcohol in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, companies or groups of employers form a consortium known as a drug screening consortium. Employees from the member companies are added to a pool for collective random testing. The selection process is managed and the pool is updated by the consortium administrator (eScreen). A consortium may only be joined by businesses with 50 or fewer covered employees.
In the context of drug testing, a consortium is typically a pool of random employers. Employees from each consortium member employer are added to the pool. All pool participants are drawn at random to participate in the alcohol and drug tests. A consortium random testing pool is required to include owner-operators who are subject to regulation by any Department of Transportation (DOT) agency.
The maintenance of alcohol and drug testing programs, including random drug testing, is mandated for many transport and bus services. It is necessary to implement a consortium random testing program for owner-operators and smaller businesses.
Owner-operators who are not allowed to manage random testing themselves have their Department of Transportation (DOT) random testing programs managed by the consortium.
Pre-employment testing is undoubtedly a useful evaluation tool, but random, ad hoc drug testing gives employers a useful tool to keep a lid on drug use and identify workers who passed the pre-employment test. Pre-employment and random drug testing together produce an even bigger and more powerful deterrent and a safer workplace than either one alone.
Employment testing serves as the initial screening, preventing many drug addicts from applying in the first place, and random testing advances the objectives of a drug-free workplace program by offering additional incentives for workers to continue abstaining from illicit drugs. This aids employers in providing a secure working environment for their employees as well as for the general public.
Employees who are impaired, especially those in positions where safety is crucial, present risks to both themselves and those around them. This is because impairment- causing drugs and alcohol can impair trying to think and reaction time, which can result in workplace accidents when workers are performing tasks that call for close attention to details and quick decisions.
Pre-employment testing is a great barrier, but random testing is even more effective, according to research on deterrence rates between pre-employment and random testing. It frequently turns out that the parts are bigger than the whole.
The same is true of drug tests. Pre-employment and random drug testing together increase workplace safety and serve as an even more effective deterrent than either one alone.
One of the best investments a business can make is random drug testing, especially in light of the rapid rise in drug abuse and the increasing number of current drug users who are entering the workforce. With just one positive drug test, the ROI for a drug testing program is frequently simple to demonstrate, and that investment will immediately translate into a considerably better-looking bottom line.