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Workplace drug & alcohol testing

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DRUG and alcohol use is an increasingly visible and controversial problem both in society and the workplace. One of the most effective methods of eliminating the effect of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace is to introduce a Drug and Alcohol Policy and comprehensive testing program.

Point of Care Diagnostics tests are carried out on drugs that can cause impairment, known as the "six drugs of abuse".

The six drugs are: THC (marijuana, hashish, hash oil); methamphetamine (ice, meth, crystal meth, glass, MDMA); amphetamine (ecstasy, P, speed); opiates (heroin, morphine, codeine); cocaine and benzodiazepines (valium, diazepam).

Testing Options

Workplace drug and alcohol testing can be done for many different reasons. These are some of the more common types of testing:

* Pre-employment testing. Job applicants are tested prior to employment.

* Internal transfer testing. Employees applying for new positions are tested, particularly when moving from a "non-safety" to a "safety-critical" position.

* Post-accident testing. Employees involved in any significant accident or incident are tested immediately to identify whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

* Reasonable grounds testing. Employees are tested where there are reasonable grounds for suspecting drug or alcohol use.

* Random or periodic testing. Employees are tested on a random unannounced basis.

* Post-treatment testing. Testing of individual employees as part of a rehabilitation programme to measure progress. On return to work, employees are randomly tested over a 12-24 month period to detect relapses.

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