Complete Guide to Periodic Testing : All You Need to Know About It!

Drug and alcohol testing at workplaces, has been a norm since forever. Employers like to make sure that their workplace and employees are safe and capable of maintaining a healthy environment. No one wants their employees to work while under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol.

What is periodic testing?

Periodic testing involves testing the entire employee base of a company or business on a regular basis. It usually happens on an annual basis and is strictly administered to all the current employees whether or not they’ve been in a workplace accident. 

You might have a question: how does periodic testing differ from other tests?

Usually, following are the types and reasons of tests conducted at a workplace:

  1. Post-accident drug testing: Conducted in the case of an accident happened at workplace or during working hours
  2. Pre-employment drug testing: Conducted before hiring a candidate to work full-time at a workplace.

These drug and alcohol tests are done in case of accidents, suspicious activity or at the very least, before employment. However, the pre-employment test might only cover new employees. Similarly, the tests done in instances of accidents might only cover the employees involved or suspected. How do you know if the rest of your enemies are using drugs or alcohol? The solution is “periodic testing”.

Periodic testing is not conducted randomly. Instead, it is a pre-planned event that everyone is mandated to participate in. Some companies also prefer to go for a quarterly testing instead of sticking to the usual annual test. There are no rules about the frequency of a periodic test so it can be done at a frequency comfortable to the employer and their employees.

Periodic testing can be legally mandated, contractual or voluntary based on the employer organisation rules. Employees in safety-sensitive positions are usually mandated to undergo the test. Rest of the companies and employers can include periodic drug testing in their contracts in order to make it mandatory.

What are the benefits of periodic testing?

  • Stops employees from developing drug and alcohol addictions:

A company can only function well when people working with it are physically and mentally sound. One cannot go long without creating a mess out of their professional life if they’ve been a victim of addiction. As an employee, it is your responsibility to make sure your employees are healthy enough to work with you, and periodic testing does just that!

  • Helps employees overcome their addictions:

Yes, an employer-employee relation is also a human-to-human relation and one should feel responsible for the well-being of their employees. If you find out that an employee has been into substance abuse, you can help them get rid of the addiction rather than devaluing or firing them.

  • Reduces costs and increases productivity:

Yes, you read that correctly. Although periodic test might seem like an additional expense to you, it actually helps you increase productivity and reduce extra expenses. How? Well, it prevents any lapse in productivity due to substance abuse hence keeping the employees on their toes and working efficiently. Also, it prevents workplace accidents due to substance abuse and thereby helps you cut down the extra expenses you might face.

  • Is more acceptable to employees:

A pre-scheduled test is seen to be well accepted by employees. They are happily willing to undergo the test multiple times a year, you just have to keep them informed. And since all the employees are covered under this test, no one feels singled out.

How to implement periodic testing?

Follow the steps given below to schedule periodic tests for your workplace:

  • Decide the frequency
  • Decide the substances you’d be testing for
  • Determine and state the methods of testing
  • Chalk out a schedule you’d like to follow for these tests

Documenting the process of periodic testing is yet another crucial step of the process. You need to inform your employees about the prohibited substances. The best way to do this is to mention the list of these substances in the company policy for drug testing. By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to organise periodic testing for your workplace. You can contact professionals at 24/7 Onsite for drug testing at Corpus Christi.

Why you should incorporate periodic testing as an employer?

As mentioned above, periodic testing offers multiple benefits. One can rest assured about the safety and health of their employees by incorporating a simple test in the employment contract or agreement. 

Although the list of pros and cons of periodic testing is long, there is a high chance that conducting periodic test may lead to a lower number of positive drug test results in the workplace. Even if it means that the employee has stopped drug abuse for a specific period in anticipation of the test, it does stop their addiction for a while. 


Periodic drug testing is a life saver and it could help a company grow in so many ways. The kind of health and safety it ensures for employees and the work environment at your workplace is unmatchable. One can easily rely on periodic test to maintain a healthy and productive environment at their workplace.