Drug Testing Guide For Energy and Utility Companies 2021

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Table Of Contents

Energy and Utility companies use pre-employment drug test for the new hires and random drug testing for their employees. They conduct hair drug tests for the pre-employment candidates and a urine test for random drug testing.

For post-accident drug testing, they carry out saliva drug tests to identify recent drug usage.

Energy and utility companies conduct a mandatory drug test for their employees to ensure a competitive and safe workplace as they are dealing with worth millions of public infrastructure

Energy And Utility Company - A Slight Overview

Energy and Utility companies play a significant role in providing renewable and non-renewable energy, water supply, sewage management and treatment, oil and gas, etc., to the public and ensure that the community gets all the essential amenities required for their livelihood. As per the sources, nearly 755,890 employees are working in the energy and utility sector. The employees are responsible for offering quality services to the public, and even one small mistake due to distraction might threaten the ecosystem and create havoc in the society. These companies have strict policy guidelines, and drug testing is one among them.

As per the sources, illicit drug usage in the United States of America increased by 8.7% in 2015. So, the energy and utility companies have made it mandatory to test every employee and pre-employment candidates to ensure a drug-free and healthy workplace. As the energy sector has been conducting the drug test far before, the utility sector has considered drug testing employees to be transforming.

Importance Of Drug Testing Energy And Utility Sector Employees

Drug testing for the energy and utility sector is becoming mandatory to maintain proper work ethics and discipline. The workers and the new hires could get through a drug test. This helps the companies ensure that the employees are under control and eligible to take social responsibility.

Drug and alcohol abuse among the energy and utility sector employees is becoming one of the severe problems. Possible ones include lack of interest in the job or absenteeism, reduced productivity, theft, health imbalances, accidents or workplace injuries, lack of employee discipline and morale, unnecessary workers’ compensation expenses, and legal liabilities.

Some of the unavoidable reasons include

  1. Some employees may feel stressed or exhausted due to the responsibilities and might get caught in drugs knowingly or unknowingly.
  2. For some, prescription medications might have side effects that might force them to take those without a doctor’s prescription leading to addiction.

Impacts of drug dependence and alcohol abuse in the work environment are

  • Fatal accidents and premature death
  • Sick leave and absenteeism
  • Significant reduction in productivity

Other problems include:

  • Lack of quality work and diminished decision-making ability
  • Tiredness, tardiness, and sleeping on the job 
  • Theft
  • Increasing conflict with colleagues, co-workers, and superiors.
  • Preoccupation with using or obtaining the illicit substance
  • Possibility of drug trafficking in the workplace
  • High turndown rate and training of new employees
  • Disciplinary issues

There may be possibilities that immediate family members of the worker may also suffer work-related problems that may affect the peace in the home and the workplace. The use of prescription drugs, even for medical reasons, do have their side effects and reactions.

Taking such medicines without a prescription or taking additional drugs for relaxation may have some undeniable side effects that may worsen in the later stage. This could affect the well-being and the quality of work in the long run.

Random drug testing helps to identify those who require drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation.

Drug Abuse Statistics For Energy And Utility Sector Employees

  1. Employees with drug addiction are 2.7 times more likely to face injury-related absenteeism and lack of productivity.
  2. About 35% of the work-related injuries are drug abusers and alcohol users.
  3. Almost 11% of the workplace fatalities prove that the workers have drugs in their system during the accident.
  4. According to some trusted sources, nearly 24% of the energy and utility employees take drugs at least once during working hours.
  5. At least one-fifth of workplace productivity is affected due to workers’ drug addiction. 
  6. Nearly 10 to 15% of the workers’ comp is spent on drug abuse employees during workplace injury or accident (guilty or not).
  7. The most common drugs used by the workers are MMJ, COC, and Alcohol.

What Is A DISA Test In Texas?

DISA test is a drug test conducted by DISA global solutions to ensure the presence of illegal drugs and alcohol in the system. They help the employer identify the drug presence during all kinds of drug tests - pre-employment, random drug testing, or workplace accidents.

DISA global solutions are one of the renowned companies that handle workplace, pre-employment, and random drug tests to ensure a safe workplace for the company and the employees. They help you manage your employee screening process and suggest informed decisions about your staff, putting your company’s reputation first.

With more than 30 years of expertise in a broad client base, DISA is focused on providing accurate drug and alcohol testing solutions to employers and helping them to make effective decisions to maintain a professional work environment. They are headquartered in Houston, Texas.

Apart from drug and alcohol testing, they do background checking services, DOT and transportation compliance, occupational health, entertainment compliance, and financial investigative services.

DISA recommends urine, hair, oral fluid, and EBAT (Evidential breath alcohol testing) drug tests to identify the candidate’s drug threshold. DISA not only helps the companies to hire the best candidate for the job but also helps the companies to manage a professional workplace and increase productivity.

DISA plays a vital role in assisting several energy and utility companies by providing drug and alcohol drug testing and improved decisions about the staff, thereby helping them manage a professional workplace.

Being a sensitive sector, federal and state laws have come up with mandatory drug testing for the energy and utility drug testing employees. But do you know what type of drug tests they conduct? Let us see

Type Of Drug Test For Drug And Utility Sector Workers

SAMHSA has required companies that are mandated by the Federal Government to conduct drug tests. The Energy and Utility sector is one of the sensitive job roles, and hence they have to adhere to federal law to carry out drug tests based on their guidelines. The most common drugs they test for include COC, AMP, MMJ, OPI, alcohol, and phencyclidine.

Some of the companies use 12-panel drug tests to identify drug usage. The companies require three methods of drug testing - hair drug test, urine test, and saliva test for pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing, and post-accident testing, respectively.

Hair drug test

Drug and Utility companies carry out a hair drug test for pre-employment candidates. This will help them identify drug intake before an extended period, say a maximum of 90 days.

Hair Drug Test confirms the consumption of illegitimate drugs or misuse of prescribed medications. This test exposes the usage of illicit drugs of 17 different kinds as determined by the USA government. Common drugs include weed, opiates, COC, OXY, MDMA, AMP, PCP, and other opioid drugs.

A hair drug test is chosen explicitly because the drug metabolites are stored in the hair for a maximum of 90 days. The tester can denote the frequency of drug usage.

Urine test

The company performs a urine test for random drug testing purposes based on the SAMHSA guidelines and their company policies. The company should follow comprehensive urine drug testing guidelines while conducting a urine drug test.

Saliva drug testing

Known by the Mouth swab drug test, this is one of the best methods to determine drug usage within minutes. Hence, energy and utility companies recommend oral saliva drug testing for workplace post-accident drug testing.

 It is highly preferable among the employers for the following reasons:

  • It is a tamper-proof test.
  • Samples can be collected on-site. This eliminates the possibility of cheating.
  • It is cost-effective.
  • Quick and efficient administration of the test.
  • Suitable for a range of drug testing.

When Do Companies Drug Test Their Workers?

Employers of the energy and utility companies have the right to drug test employees at any of the following times:

  • Pre-employment drug and alcohol screening - As previously discussed, companies conduct drug tests for pre-employment candidates and do a thorough background check before hiring them.
  • Random drug testing at their discretion - The companies do random drug testing on a periodical basis to confirm no employee is abusing drugs.
  • Post-incident drug and alcohol testing - Saliva drug test to identify the drug presence during the accident. This will also help the companies to process the workers’ comp accordingly.
  • Abstinence monitoring - If an employee was addicted and abstinent from the drug, the companies conduct abstinence monitoring drug tests to check on the employee.
  • Suspicious drug/alcohol screening - If the higher authority finds it suspicious about any employee about the drug activity, he may recommend a drug test for that particular employee.
  • When moving employees to new positions within the company - A new position demands more responsibility. The company needs to ensure the employee is disciplined enough to take up the responsibility that comes his way.

How To Face Your Energy And Utility Companies Drug Test?

If you apply for a position in the Energy and utility sector, you should be aware that they may conduct a hair drug test to trace drug use 90 days back. So, make sure that you are clean before your drug test. You may use the PDT-90 hair drug test kit to test before you get to the actual drug test that can help you to identify the drug threshold present in your body.

Why PDT-90 drug test kits?

  • Analyzes for 12 drugs (7 illicit drugs and five prescription drugs)
  • Smallest amount of hair required
  • FDA cleared screening test kit for both head and body hair
  • Fully accredited laboratory
  • Most accurate / sensitive test available
  • The “Gold Standard” of hair testing

Random drug testing is standard in energy and utility companies, and employers choose multi-panel urine testing. The test will be supervised, and hence there is no way that the test could have tampered with. It is best to check yourself with home-based urine drug testing kits on precaution to face your drug test with confidence.

Employers in the energy and utilities sector may find it helpful to use the Employer drug testing packs offered by Drug Test Panels. They come in 25, 50, and 100 numbers, and it allows you to choose the package as per your employee strength. Our drug testing kit is unique in that they provide you results within minutes, and they come at an affordable price.

Final words

Public responsibility demands a person to be hard-working, sincere, and disciplined throughout career, and a drug test is a check on the virtues, as mentioned earlier. Being in the energy and utility sector is a privilege, and you need to respect yourself and your workplace to maintain such privilege. Keep yourself in check with the assistance of Drug Test Panels’ home-based drug testing kits.


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