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Opioids & Post-Accident Drug Testing: Legal Considerations & OSHA’s Antiretaliation Stance - On-Demand

Opioids & Post-Accident Drug Testing: Legal Considerations & OSHA’s Antiretaliation Stance - On-Demand

Product Code: YSWA011420A

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Opioids & Post-Accident Drug Testing: Legal Considerations & OSHA’s Antiretaliation Stance - On-Demand

Webinar now available On-Demand.

WEBINAR SNAPSHOT: Learn how to legally conduct post-accident drug testing in accordance with applicable federal laws and conduct proper “reasonable suspicion” training.


The prevalence of opioids in the workplace presents significant safety hazards to workers abusing them and to coworkers. Employers may be more motivated than ever to implement drug testing programs to prevent accidents and reduce liability, especially following a workplace incident. New guidelines from OSHA about drug testing recommend reasonable suspicion training for supervisors, but also contain some traps for the unwary. There are few resources available yet to help employers develop this type of training.

A maze of legal and practical considerations poses significant challenges to conducting post-incident drug tests. OSHA’s antiretaliation provisions limit the situations where post-accident drug testing may be used, and some states have placed increasing limitations on the situations in which drug testing is allowed altogether, or have specific rules governing tests for legally prescribed drugs or even for medical cannabis.  Additionally, testing for impairment for substances other than alcohol is notoriously difficult. Employers must strike a balance between these competing considerations and develop a strategy that prioritizes safety, limits legal liability, and maintains a trusting, respectful relationship with employees.

And, many questions arise when trying to strike that balance, such as:

  • How is opioid abuse recognized in the workplace?
  • What are unique issues relating to medical cannabis and workplace safety?
  • When is post-incident drug testing mandatory in the workplace, and when is it limited?
  • Are there resources to develop a reasonable suspicion training program for supervisors?

Use this on-demand webinar to learn how to balance safety, legal considerations, and OSHA’s antiretaliation stance when conducting post-accident drug testing.

After attending this webinar, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the circumstances in which OSHA may consider opioid or medical cannabis testing to constitute illegal retaliation
  • Recognize how OSHA’s post-incident drug testing rule interacts with other federal and state drug testing laws
  • Implement best practices for balancing competing safety and legal considerations when developing a drug testing strategy
  • Develop reasonable suspicion training for supervisors
  • Create a drug and alcohol testing policy that protects the safety and health of employees and the public

And, as a bonus for attending, you’ll receive BLR’s Prevent Prescription Drug Use poster!

About Your Presenter

Adele AbramsAdele L. Abrams, Esq. CMSP
Firm President
Law Offices of Adele L. Abrams PC

Adele L. Abrams is an attorney and Certified Mine Safety Professional who is president of the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C., a multi-attorney firm with offices in Beltsville, MD, Denver, CO, and Charleston, WV. The firm represents employers in OSHA and MSHA litigation nationwide, and her firm also handles employment law matters in a large number of states. Ms. Abrams and her firm colleagues provide employment and safety law consultation, safety audits, industrial hygiene assistance, and training services to companies in a variety of industries.

She is a member of the Maryland, DC and PA Bars; the U.S. District Courts of Maryland, DC, and TN; the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit 3rd Circuit, and 4th Circuit; and the United States Supreme Court. She also serves on the adjunct faculties of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she teaches on employment, labor and occupational safety law.

She has been a professional member of ASSE (now ASSP) since 1997 and has been a SPY award recipient at the practice specialty, chapter, and regional level multiple times. She is an active member of the National Safety Council, where she was awarded the Distinguished Service to Safety Award (DSSA) in 2017. Adele has co-authored several textbooks on employment law, occupational and mine safety and health, and is a regular columnist on safety law issues for multiple magazines.