Most employers with drug-and-alcohol-testing policies require employees suffering a workplace injury to be tested for drugs or alcohol. It is common for these post-injury tests to be conducted at the same time the employee receives medical attention for the injury. These types of testing requirements make sense and are generally a sound practice. The key for employers is ensuring these policies are implemented in an effective yet responsible manner.
From the category of its-too-crazy-to-be-made-up, a lawsuit on this topic was recently filed in Dallas. In that case, an employee suffered a workplace injury after falling from an undisclosed height. The employer had a practice of drug testing employees injured on the job and allegedly required a drug test. The minor problem in this case -- the employer is alleged to have left the unconscious worker lying on the floor for two hours waiting on the drug test to be administered. The employer then called 911, and the employee was taken by the paramedics to a hospital, where the employee later died. The plaintiffs allege the long delay in receiving treatment led to the employee's death. Click here for the story.
Keep in mind now that, as with any lawsuit, the initial claims made by the plaintiff are not always accurate, and in this case I hope that is exactly the situation. For those of you that require a drug test following a workplace injury, make sure you always look first to the employee's health and safety before focusing on the testing procedure.