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Investigation of Substance Abuse in the Workplace.

The authors of Investigation of Substance Abuse in the Workplace have written an easy-to-follow guide to drug investigations in the workplace. The book consolidates the various facets and steps of an investigation from start to finish.

The first chapter reveals the pitfalls of a poorly organized and managed drug investigation. Time and care must go into planning and instituting a successful operation. The authors describe in detail the role of the investigator. Choosing the right investigator, determining the goals of the investigation, and knowing how to proceed are mandatory.

Special attention is given to the relationship with law enforcement. Choosing an investigator who has established a good reputation with the authorities is important, but so is management's comprehension of what police involvement in a workplace investigation means. Management must understand that involving the police may lead to public disclosure of information they do not wish known. They must also realize that arrests and prosecutions of employees are possible.

The authors highlight the need for proper legal counsel--specifically, a labor attorney. Knowing the law, which can vary widely from state to state, is vital. Equally difficult is the relationship between management and unions in the workplace. The recommendations on how to reduce possible union friction during a drug investigation should be read closely.

The authors also correctly recognize the need for a business to institute effective drug policies. All too often policies are either vague or nonexistent. Written policies must be developed with the help of legal counsel and enforced by management. Employees must understand the policy and know that violations will not be tolerated.

Effective preemployment screening and background investigations can serve as a first line of defense. Various methods are suggested to accomplish this, including a chapter devoted to drug testing in the workplace.

The book's extensive appendix is a valuable asset. Included is a synopsis and explanation of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 providing a clear and concise explanation of the criteria that limit the use of the polygraph.

Not all the methods listed in this book will pertain to a particular business or investigation. However, the book is an excellent guide for the beginner and, at the very least, a reminder for the experienced hand. Investigation of Substance Abuse in the Workplace is a welcome and valuable addition to a security professional's bookshelf.

Reviewer: Michael J. Koshel is an assistant vice president and security/safety specialist for Citibank in New York City. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Koshel, Michael J.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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