Workplace drug testing-Getting it right for your business.

 

workplace drug testing kits companies

Workplace drug testing kits

Workplace drug testing is commonplace and growing. More and more companies are facing the real problem of dealing with employees with drug and alcohol problems. Proactive employers are introducing drug and alcohol screening programs to reduce their risk, improve safety in their workplace environments, and to make it apparent to all employees that working under the influence of drugs is not acceptable.

So with such a large problem in the UK why is it not possible to find clear guidance on how to set up a program of drug screening within a workplace ? The simple answer is that no government body or the HSE or other employment agency have a responsibility to oversee the introduction or operation of drug screening. Clear guidance on how to test and what to test for will almost certainly not cover all the possible scenarios experienced in business across the UK, so none exists.

Getting it right for UK Business’s

So here is some starting guidance to base a simple workplace drug testing program on which will keep your testing program within best practice expectations and keep you protected right through to tribunal hearings and disciplinary proceedings.

  • Make it fair. This means random drug screening must be just that. A random cohort across the entire workforce and sampled regularly.
  • Check your terms of employment contracts. If they don’t include a section on your right to request samples for drug and alcohol testing, then any request you make can be declined by the employee.
  • Talk to the workforce and give fair notice of when drug testing will start.
  • Drug misuse should be handled no differently from any other disciplinary matter with full documentation. Best practice would also incorporate support of the employee to seek treatment for the misuse of illicit drugs.
  • Post incident drug screening, is again dependent on ability to drug test employment contract, without this it becomes voluntary.
  • Follow a written procedure for drug screening, witnessed and signed by the donor, with all results carefully documented.

What drugs should be tested for ?

There are no right and wrong drugs to test for. Local issues should be considered. Your local drug team or police liaison officer are ideal contacts to advise on what drugs are a particular problem. Most suppliers will also have a good idea of suitable drug test combination tests for your workforce, so ask their advice. Your demographic should also be considered. If you are testing 50-60 year olds Benzodiazepines may be of interest. If your donors are 18-24 year old party organisers, then Ketamine may be a better choice. Give your test kit supplier good information on who you intend to test, they will recommend suitable test combination kits.

The base drugs which should always be included are

THC Cannabis, Marijuana, Skunk etc..

MOP / OPI Opiates, Heroin.

COC Cocaine, Crack, Charlie.

AMP Amphetamine, speed, whiz

Add to these MTD, methadone, MET Methamphetamine, BZO, Benzodiazepines, and any other local issues which are appropriate.

Most workplace drug testing is performed using a 6 or 7 panel drug testing kit, most incorporated into a collection and storage cup, but you can go as far as a 10 or even a 12-14 drug screen.

POCT Point of care testing

Tests that you run on site, giving immediate positive or negative results are often referred to as POCT’s. These are saliva or urine drug testing kits which screen for drugs and their metabolites in the body fluid added to test membranes in the kits. Both saliva and urine drug test kits are suitable for workplace screening. The accuracy of both is almost identical. Saliva has one major advantage, directly observed sample collection.

All negative screens can be completed in under 10 minutes. These kits are easy to use and have 97-99% accuracy when compared to laboratory tests.

Non Negative POCT results

Workplace testing must move to immediate laboratory confirmation of all non negative POCT results. This is evidential testing, certified to have been conducted using a full workplace chain of custody procedure, and the sample will be tested to UK accredited standards and certified by the receiving lab. The procedure is considered gold standard practice and results will be accepted into employment tribunal hearings if required. Workplace back to lab confirmation chain of custody packs are available from UKDrugTesting and should be purchased at the same time as POCT’s so that they are immediately available on site when you get that first non negative result.

Using an accredited confirmation pack is critical to keeping workplace testing compliant with employment law and defending your actions in tribunal and employment challenges.

Expect a non negative rate of between 4 and 6% as a guide when purchasing.

Pre-employment drug screening

Drug screening potential employees is different from testing an existing employee. Without an employment contract, the decision to test a potential employee rarely has to be justified or defended. Confirmation testing of non negative drug screens is rarely completed unless the offer of employment has been made subject to a medical.

Who can conduct POCT drug screening ?

Any one who is competent to follow a simple procedure is the simple answer. There is no medical training or pseudo medical training requirement. Competence in the procedure and familiarity with the testing kit should be achieved before considering employee testing. Professional packs of POCT’s all come with a detailed manufacturers data sheet and procedure. Additional training is available from the supplier and full drug awareness and drug screening procedure’s and product training is available as a package to employers. Most products also have online product demonstration video training which can be accessed at any time, free of charge, and demonstrate very precisely how to run the POCT kits.

Talk to a UK expert

Need further advise or guidance on which POCT kits are best suited to your workplace environment. We supply some of the UK’s largest and smallest business’s and have a team of experts able to give guidance during UK office hours on 01263 731 168

We also stock the UK’s largest range of onsite drug testing kits combination’s,  all warehoused for next working day delivery. We know one size doesn’t fit all, so we also have the ability to manufacture bespoke combination drug tests to meet your requirements, at the lowest cost. And yes we will match or better your existing suppliers price. Guaranteed.

Breathalyser kits for Scotland, France and Ireland

If you need a breathalyser to use in France, Scotland or Ireland make sure that you select the right cut off levels as the drink drive levels are lower in these countries at 0.05% BAC than they are in England , Wales & Northern Ireland which are still at the higher level of 0.08% BAC.

As many UK business drivers cross the channel regularly on business, it is important for them to remember the lower drink drive levels in France. The lower limit means it is very easy to be over the limit , and the best option is not to drink any alcohol when you need to drive shortly afterwards, as even one drink could put you over the limit. It also important to remember the morning after alcohol levels after late night drinking could still take you easily over the lower 0.05% BAC level.

It is also very easy to forget the new lower limit in Scotland is 0.05% BAC, which could easily catch drivers out, who are used to the higher 0.08 % BAC.

For more information or to buy breathalysers visit Value Breathalysers UK site

 

Alcohol Testers

Breath Alcohol breathalyser 0.05%BAC

Breath alcohol testers

Screening for alcohol levels is now easier than ever. There are a complete range of single use testing kits which will allow instant screening to either a pre set cut off level or even give a semi quantitive indicator of the detected level.

The biotechnology in these tests is now well tested and most come with a full set of quality certification, ensuring a high level of accuracy if used to the manufacturers guidelines.

Most instant tests are actually set to Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) cut off levels. This can seem a little confusing when you are running a test on either saliva or breath, but with all the legislation referenced to BAC this actually makes sense. It also makes changing from saliva to breath screening a lot simpler, eliminating the need to cross reference different scales of measurement.

So what is available in todays market. Lets first look at the options for single use breath alcohol testers. All contain a chemical crystal, which on exposure to alcohol changes colour. By altering the chemical, this colour change can be made to occur only when a predetermined level of alcohol is reached. This makes it possible to set UK HSE breath alcohol testers to give positive results at alcohol levels of 0.02%BAC Scottish and French (EU) driving level cut of alcohol testers at alcohol levels of 0.05%BAC and UK England & Wales driving limit alcohol testers at alcohol levels of 0.08%BAC All three options are also available in triple test packs and double test packs with blow bags.

By altering the chemical slightly it is also possible to make it change colour to a greater degree at higher alcohol exposure levels. This makes it possible to turn the alcohol tester from a simple cut off positive or negative test, into a semi quantitive breath alcohol test. The darker the shade of colour change, the higher the alcohol level detected. By reading the colour change showing at a set time these alcohol testers give a guide to the actual blood alcohol level at the time of testing.

Breath testing is easy, cheap and reliable. All these alcohol testers are single use disposable test kits. Expiry dates are normally 24-36 months and storage is normally at room temperature with no special requirements. Two, ten second blows are needed to get an accurate reading. In donors with poor lung function, asthma, bronchitis etc this may render the test useless, so an option for these tests would be a saliva test strip alcohol tester.

Alcohol saliva testing is as simple and reliable as saliva drug testing, and indeed an ever increasing range of saliva drug tests do incorporate a saliva alcohol test strip with a 0.02%BAC sensitivity for workplace HSE screening.

The biotechnology is similar to the chemical breathalyser reaction with a colour change on a pad to which the saliva is added. The colour change is compared to a reference colour chart and the best match selected to give a semi quantitive alcohol level.

Both single use chemical breathalyser alcohol testers and saliva alcohol test strips are suitable for healthcare and workplace alcohol screening. Backed up with a digital breathalyser, these screens offer flexible, multi-location screening ability within a site or business. All test results are screening only, non evidential and all non negative results for alcohol should be confirmed using an accredited laboratory service offering evidential and chain of custody controlled certified results.

Saliva Confirm oral drugs and alcohol testing kits

saliva drug testing kits

Saliva Confirm drug testing kits

New for the UK is this 12 drug screening test kit from US firm, Confirm Bioscience. The SalivaConfirm oral drug test offers 11 drugs and alcohol screening in a single test making drug and alcohol testing easier than ever before.

This saliva drug test is proving popular with both healthcare and business users looking for a comprehensive and easy to perform “all in one” oral drug testing kit. Results are

Saliva collection is the simplest drug screening solution for workplace screening, and the collection swab or sponge in the Saliva Confirm test is integrated into the test lid and automatically discharges the sample onto the test membranes when the kit is closed, so no sample handling or transfer is needed. the results are read in the traditional manor for drug screens, with two lines forming on each coded drug test membrane. The alcohol screen is a colour change on a pad indicating a blood alcohol level of 0.02%BAC or over at the time of testing.

We found all the results were clear and easy to read on all membranes. The only issue to consider is the volume of saliva collected in the sponge. To run 12 membranes testers have to ensure the sponge is completely saturated with saliva which can take up to 3 minutes. The sponge must be completely soft (it is firm when you start the test) to be compressed into the body of the test, any resistance indicates insufficient saliva in the sponge.

When used for workplace screening, all non negative results should be confirmed using an accredited chain of custody lab test either GC/MS or the newer LC/MS, This means moving to urine sampling of the person being tested but this ensures all workplace testing remains challenge proof at tribunal hearings. packs for laboratory confirmation are available from ukdrugtesting

In our opinion the Saliva Confirm oral drug testing kit offers a superb quality and high accuracy front line screening tool for any agency wanting a comprehensive front line test. The great advantage of combining drug and alcohol testing in a single product should not be undervalued.

ETG Urine Alcohol Test Strips

Nick named the 80 hour alcohol test, ETG, a metabolite of ethanol is now a test option for alcohol screening in the UK.

The detection of ETG in urine shoes that alcohol has been ingested in the 72 hours before the test. What can not be determined is the quantity, the timing or the resultant blood levels.

As a zero tolerance screen for alcohol exposure it is ideal, giving a positive indicator long after no ethanol is detectable in urine or saliva.

ETG testing as a part of workplace screening is less clear. Alcohol ingestion in the 72 hours before testing will not be of use to most employers.

We think ETG will be of use in clinical trial and alcohol treatment programs, including healthcare environments where alcohol avoidance or abstinence in s constitute part of ongoing treatment.

ETG alcohol test strips are now available in single strip set formats from UKDrugTesting.co.uk

Using drug testing kits in the workplace pros and cons

Drug Testing Kits Workplace

Workplace drug testing kits UK

The decision to start testing for drugs and alcohol can often be forced upon an employer, faced with an employee crisis, or incident, which brings the problem to light and forces a response or reaction.

It’s easy to get the response wrong. Not knowing how to investigate suspected drugs and alcohol issues is a very common problem, especially for small business owners. The introduction of roadside drug and alcohol testing in the UK has also highlighted the consequences of drug misuse to a wider range of employers, including taxi and private hire fleet owners.

Providing access to suitable screening and testing kits with next working day delivery is where UKDrugTesting specialise. We can offer a comprehensive range of either Oral Fluid / Saliva or Urine drug testing kits in a range of combinations to offer a test for most suspected drug types. These can also be supported with UK accredited Laboratory confirmation testing of all positive onsite test results using a full Chain of Custody sampling pack to provide an evidential, certified confirmation result for use in employment tribunals and disputes.

Can you ask for an employee drug test ?

Yes. Employers in the UK can always request an employee to volunteer a sample for drug testing. Requests must be fair and if the drug test is part of a random drug testing program, the request must be seen to be evenly spread throughout the workplace and not targeted to discriminate against an individual. If the contract of employment does not include provision for drug and alcohol testing as a routine element (requirement) of employment, the employee can decline to be tested.

Targeted testing following a crisis or incident

Again the above rules still apply, so reference to the employment contract is again required. If there is strong suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol but refuses to cooperate with a drug test, the employer must exercise their duty of care to ensure the safety of the employee and their work colleagues. Document all the facts and ideally take witness statements to support your actions.

Workplace drug testing kits

Mephedrone drug testing kits now available for sale online in UK

MMephedrone drug testing kits

Mephedrone MCAT Meow Meow drug testing kits

This month we are very pleased to announce that we have a specific mephedrone drug test kit new in stock.

This new urine drug test kits will detect the drug Mephedrone also known as MCat and Meow Meow. It is quite likely the initial stock will sell out quickly, but we have more on order.

More information on Mephedrone MCAT drug tests or to buy the drug testing kits in UK

See full range of drug testing kits