Ohio law indicates all companies – in state or out of state – that bid or work
on state construction projects must have a drug-free workplace program no matter
how many employees they have. This applies to contractors and all levels of
subcontractors who want to work on a State of Ohio construction project, who want
to bid on and/or provide labor services, and/or supervise workers on state
construction sites. Even employers with no employees must have at least a drug-free
program in place that meets the basic requirements specified at the bottom of this
page for a comparable drug-free program.
Eligibility requirements to bid or work on state construction jobs
- Establish and/or maintain an active Ohio workers’ compensation
policy and be in good standing.
- Apply for and meet the requirements of a comparable drug-free program,
formerly known as level 0 OR BWC's Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP).
- Report progress to BWC on an annual report.
The following information answers some of the common questions employers have
regarding drug-free workplace programs and state construction projects. Click the
appropriate link(s) below for more information.
How to apply for a comparable drug-free program
or for DFSP
Application for the Drug-Free Safety Program (U-140). Check the box
on the application to request comparable participation (See the Important notes
section for more details.):
- If you only want to fulfill the minimum requirements needed to apply to
workers and supervisors on the job.
Check the box on the application to request the Basic or the Advanced level of
participation in the Drug-Free Safety Program if you're interested in earning a
discount (See the Important notes section for more details.):
- If you want a premium discount for successfully completing the program;
- If you are willing to exceed the minimum requirements needed by applying
the program requirements to all company employees at all times during
each program participation year.
The Basic and Advanced levels have more requirements, but successful participants
may receive premium discounts for an unlimited number of years
or be eligible for start-up grants.
Comparable program participants do not receive premium discounts.
However, you only need BWC approval for the comparable program to be eligible
to bid or work on state construction sites. You will be able to operate a
BWC-approved comparable drug-free program that applies, at minimum, to anyone
who works on a state construction project and/or supervises labor on a state
Contact your local customer service office to speak with a BWC employer
services staff member for specific guidance about the program or level that
would work best for you.
More details you need to know
BWC maintains a database of contractors and subcontractors approved to bid
or work on state construction or public improvement projects.
State contracting authorities will only consider bids from contractors
who are part of BWC’s approved drug-free state construction contractor database.
It will not allow contractors or subcontractors of any size to provide labor
services on a public improvement project unless BWC’s state construction contractor
database lists the employer as approved.
To be eligible to bid or work on a state construction site public improvement
project, the contractor or subcontractor must:
- Be enrolled in and implement a BWC drug-free program, either DFSP
or a comparable program.
Employee education and supervisor training requirements
Comparable program requirements:
- Education and training are one-time only for each employee and
- Employees of comparable program contractors/subcontractors, including
supervisors, must receive at least one hour of drug-free employee education
on alcohol and other drugs before working or providing direct supervision
on a state construction site.
- Supervisors must also get an additional hour of skill-building training
before working on a state site.
DFSP basic and advanced level requirements involve annual employee education
for each employee and supervisor. Employees of basic and advanced level contractors,
including supervisors, must also receive drug-free, employee education, and supervisors
must receive supervisor training before working on a state construction site.
In addition, they must get training each year.
Workers/supervisors on state construction sites are subject to substance testing
at random intervals. The contract for each project will address the percentage of
employees subject to random testing; however, we have learned that all state
contracting authorities have chosen 5 percent of the total pool of workers on
each state project over the lifetime of that project.
Contractors must ensure their subcontractors enroll in or are in good standing
in a BWC-approved drug-free program. The state considers contractors who do not
comply with this requirement to be in breach of their contracts. The state may bar
contractors/subcontractors who breach their contracts from bidding on or working
on state projects for up to five years. A subcontractor who brings a lower-tier
subcontractor onto a state construction project is bound by the same due diligence
BWC considers contractors in the basic or advanced level, or comparable program
to be compliant if:
- They meet the stated drug-free requirements;
- They submit annual self-assessment progress reports and supporting
documentation that demonstrate substantive compliance with drug-free
Contractors and subcontractors must maintain remain in good standing with
BWC to stay in approved status in the state construction database.
Comparable program level requirements
- Develop and maintain a written drug-free policy that applies to all
workers and supervisors who may provide labor or supervise labor on a
state construction project. The policy should state that employees cannot
have alcohol or drugs in their systems while working on a state job. It
should also list consequences for violating this work rule. Contractors
may follow the guidance in BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program
Self-Implementation Workbook to develop a drug-free policy.
- Ensure one hour of employee education on substance abuse issues is
provided for ALL workers, including supervisors, before they work on
any state construction site. This also applies to subcontractors. This
education should help to reduce the risk of on-the-job accidents caused
by drugs/alcohol through prevention. A qualified substance professional
must be involved in preparation of educational materials.
Note: Each employee or supervisor only needs to get this one hour
of education one time.
- Supervisors must also receive one additional hour of skill-building
training. This will help them to identify employees who show signs of
alcohol or drug use. This rule only applies to contractors who have
supervisors on-site at state construction jobs. A qualified substance
professional must be involved in the delivery of supervisor training.
Note: Each supervisor only needs to get this one hour of training
- Ensure pre-employment drug testing occurs for anyone whom you are
bringing onto a state project to provide labor or supervision. Any new
employee or subcontractor on a state construction job must pass a drug
test before he or she can begin work. This does not apply to current
- Ensure random drug-testing, typically by putting your workers and
supervisors into a pool with employees of other employers for purposes
of a random draw. All workers and supervisors on a state construction job
must be subject to the possibility of being selected by neutral computer
software operated by a third-party administrator for random drug-testing.
Again, this includes subcontractors. Employees may be placed into a pool
through a consortium along with employees of other employers and be
considered compliant regardless of whether any of their own workers are
subjected to a random drug test as long as the consortium draws at the
minimum percentage required by the contracting authority (at least 5
percent of the total pool numbers over the length of the state project).
- Ensure post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing are conducted
as necessary. All employees, including subcontractors, are subject to
drug and alcohol testing after an accident as defined in BWC’s drug-free
program materials. Also, if there is reasonable suspicion that an employee
has alcohol or drugs in his or her system, this could lead to testing.
- Offer employee assistance. State construction contractors must have available a list of employee
assistance vendors to give to any worker who has a substance problem, including
anyone who tests positive.
- Submit an annual report. State construction contractors must file an annual report with BWC that details
their drug-free program efforts. Employers will be asked to complete a
self-assessment progress report every year and are urged to use
this Web site to complete the report online.
Basic and advanced level requirements are NOT the same as those for
the comparable program and require employee education and supervisor training
every year rather than just one time only for each employee and supervisor.
Employer Drug-Free Guide
State construction contractor look-up
HB 80 and Legislative Service Commission Final Analysis
Drug-Free Safety Program