Workers Compensation and Drug Testing in Columbus, Ohio

After a workplace accident, your employer may require you to undergo drug testing. If it’s positive, your workers compensation benefits can be denied or reduced. The key is whether intoxication caused or contributed to the accident. If drugs didn’t directly cause your injury, benefits should still apply.

Read on to learn more about drug testing at work, especially after a workplace injury, and get in touch with a Columbus workers compensation attorney for immediate assistance.

When Can Employers Require Drug Testing for Injured Workers?

Ohio law allows employers to require drug testing of employees who are injured at work. If an employee suffers an injury that requires medical attention, the company may ask them to undergo screening for drugs and alcohol.

This is allowed to determine if intoxication was a contributing factor to the accident. However, employers need to have reasonable suspicion of intoxication before mandating testing. Signs like slurred speech, impaired motor skills, and the smell of alcohol on the breath could constitute reasonable suspicion. Random or arbitrary testing of injured employees is not permitted.

What Drugs Are Tested for in Workers Comp Cases?

In Columbus, the most common drugs tested for in workers compensation claims are:


Alcohol is one of the most widely abused substances, and its use on the job can impair judgment, coordination, and the ability to properly operate equipment. Both blood and urine tests are used to detect alcohol use.


Marijuana is tested since its use can negatively impact perception, problem-solving skills, memory, and coordination. Urine tests, hair follicle tests, and oral fluid tests are often used to detect marijuana.


Opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine are narcotic painkillers that are frequently prescribed for work-related injuries. However, their misuse or abuse can be dangerous. Urine tests are commonly used to monitor appropriate use and check for the presence of these drugs.


Cocaine is an illegal stimulant drug that is highly addictive and can cause paranoia, impaired judgment, and erratic behavior. Urine and blood tests are used to detect cocaine use.

after a workplace accident, your employer can administer a drug test


Amphetamines like methamphetamine are powerful stimulants that can cause aggression, psychosis, and heart problems. Urine and blood tests check for the presence of amphetamines.

How Failed Drug Tests Can Affect Workers Comp Benefits

If you fail a drug test after an on-the-job injury in Columbus, it may affect your workers compensation benefits.

Benefits May Be Denied

If you test positive for drugs or alcohol following a workplace accident, your employer may deny your claim for workers comp benefits. They can argue that your intoxication contributed to your injury, so they are not liable. While you can appeal the denial, you will have to prove that your drug use did not cause or contribute to the accident.

Benefits May Be Reduced

Instead of denying your claim outright, your employer may reduce your benefits by a certain percentage, like 50% or 75%. They will argue that while they are partially responsible for your injury, your intoxication also contributed to some degree.

Rehabilitation May Be Denied

Workers comp also covers rehabilitation services to help injured employees recover and return to work. If you fail a drug test, your employer may deny payment for services like physical therapy, counseling, and retraining programs. They may argue that until you address any substance abuse issues, rehabilitation and return-to-work efforts will be ineffective.

Reach Out to a Columbus Workers Compensation Lawyer Today

Failing a drug test after a workplace injury can have serious consequences for your workers compensation claim in Ohio. Before undergoing any required post-accident drug testing, it is important to speak with an experienced Columbus workers compensation attorney who can advise you on how to protect your rights and benefits.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation and legal advice regarding drug testing and your comp claim: (833) 406-0060.