Increasingly, companies are being forced to test employees for drug and alcohol use, either by their customers or by government mandates such as the Drug-free Workplace Act. (Call 202-366-3784 for a copy of the regulations.) Laboratory blood and urine tests aren't the only way to go. Here are some additional, and low-cost, options.
* BreathScan. The size of a crayon, this alcohol test requires employees to blow into it. Available through Team Building Systems (713-591-8326), in Houston, each BreathScan costs $1.50, in orders of fewer than 100.
* Mach IV. This tests for the presence of four drugs and can be administered by an untrained person at your company. Manufactured by Drug Screening Systems (609-228-8500), in Blackwood, N.J., it costs less than $15 per test.
* Factor 1000. If safety is your chief concern, this computer-based test will gauge a worker's visual-motor acuity, concentration, and perception. The cost is $50 to $200 per employee per year. Produced by Performance Factors (510-769-8300), in Alameda, Calif. -- Ellyn E. Spragins