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Drug Free Safety Program — State Construction Contractor

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.

How to apply for a comparable drug-free program or for DFSP

Complete an 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 (See the Important notes section for more details.): 

  • If you want a premium rebate for successfully completing the program. 
  • If you're willing to exceed the minimum requirements needed by applying the program requirements to all company employees at all times during each program participation year. 

Important notes
The Basic and Advanced levels have more requirements, but successful participants may receive a premium rebate for an unlimited number of years or be eligible for start-up grants. 

Comparable program participants do not receive premium rebates. 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 construction site. 

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. 

State construction contractor database

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 supervisor. 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
Education and training 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've learned 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 requirement. 

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 program requirements. 

Contractors and subcontractors must remain in good standing with BWC to stay in approved status in the state construction database. 

Comparable program level requirements 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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 one time. 
  4. 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 employees.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 website 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.