5 quick tips to help you to start onsite drug & alcohol testing in your workplace

There are many advantages to doing your drug and alcohol screening in house as it can save your company a lot of time and money. Staff do not need to attend a testing centre which keeps costs down and time away from work to a minimum.

Here are 5 quick tips to help you get started

  • Be prepared-make sure that you have everything in place before you begin. It is advisable to have a drug and alcohol policy for your workplace, in place before you start testing. You will also need consent forms, onsite drug testing kits, and ideally a lab chain of custody confirmation drug test pack.
  • Make sure you have a clear protocol to work to and decide who is going to do the testing, and that you have a clear management plan for any non negative results.
  • You will only need to confirm non negative results
  • Make sure that you have the ability to confirm any non negative results obtained with onsite drug testing kits with a laboratory chain of custody confirmation test. Best to have at least one of these onsite when you begin testing.
  • Keep clear records of all results & ideally have everything witnessed

UK Drug Testing is one of the longest established drug and alcohol testing companies in the UK and are a leading supplier of drug and alcohol testing kits to businesses and employers.

Visit UK Drug Testing for more information on starting drug and alcohol testing in the workplace or telephone us on 01263 731 168 during office hours Monday to Friday 8.30 to 4pm

Saliva drug testing kit DSD-863-ideal workplace drug testing kit

drug testing kits saliva

DSD-863 Direct saliva drug testing kit

Introducing the DSD-863 Direct Saliva 6 drug testing kit the quickest and easiest to use oral drug test kit on the market currently in the UK.

This new drug test kits makes workplace drug testing simple and quick, with no sample handling. You simply put the saliva tongue collector into the mouth of the person that is being tested, and the drug test runs as soon as sufficient saliva has been absorbed. This feature is likely to make this new drug test kit very popular for employment and pre-employment drug testing and screening.

The DSD 863 detects the following drugs:

Cannabis 12ng (Marijuana, hash, scunk)
Amphetamine 50ng (speed, whiz)
Opiates 20ng (heroin, brown, morphine)
Cocaine 20ng (cocaine, crack)
Methamphetamine 50ng (crystal Ice)
Benzodiazepines 30ng (sleepers , tranqs)

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.

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

Workplace Drug Testing UK-consent and refusal

Saliva Drug Screening

Saliva Drug Screening

Employers in the UK need consent to undertake a drug test. This simple concept is complicated however by the fact that tribunals would normally expect employees to reasonably give their consent to undergo drug testing. In simple terms an employee must have good grounds to refuse a drug and alcohol test, be confident that the employer has requested the test irresponsibly or has been un-fair.

Because most employees are normally expected to reasonably give consent for drug & alcohol testing, they should seek professional advise from their union or line manager before refusing to give a test sample. However, pre-consent is often implicit in many contracts of employment. i.e. the contract will include  a clause agreement between the employee and employer agreeing drug and alcohol screening during the period of employment.

Employers have a responsibility:

  1. To only drug test where it is appropriate.
  2. Be fair in the implementation of the drug testing procedure,
  3. Operate testing in a fully random fashion and not to single out particular employees for drug and alcohol testing unless this is justified by the nature of their jobs or their actions.

Workplace drug and alcohol testing is far more common in safety critical employment roles, and testing frequencies may reasonably be far more frequent. There is no guidance in UK law regarding the frequency of random testing for specific employment roles.

Employees can not be forced or made to take a drug or alcohol test, but if they refuse when the employer has good grounds to request a test, and has acted fairly and responsibly, they the employer can take disciplinary action.

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe workplace. This includes ensuring that no employee is undertaking employment under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Most employers in the UK use a saliva or oral fluid drug test kit as a first line drug screening test with instant on-site results. This is considered the best first line drug test kit option as it is minimally non invasive, easy and safe to collect in front of the individual being tested, with observed sample collection. A six panel drug screen such as the FirstSign saliva drug test kit is an ideal UK combination drug test for UK workplace screening.

Visit UKDrugTesting.co.uk for more information and to buy drug and alcohol testing kits suitable for workplace drug & alcohol screening

How to choose a Drug Testing Kit for Workplace Drug Testing

Workplace drug testing is widely established in many industries, but the choice of drug testing kits can be confusing and there is little authorative advice on which drug test kits are best for the job. Not all drug testing kits are suitable for use in the workplace, the quality and accuracy of cheaper, unbranded drug tests make them unsuitable. Reducing the costs can be an expensive mistake, leading to both false negative and false positive screening test results.

Here is some simple and clear advice for employers looking to source a suitable drug testing kit for onsite cost effective drug screening in the workplace.

1) What drugs do you need to test for ?

It seems a simple choice to pick a combination drug test kit, usually referred to as a multi-panel drug test with the right combination of drug tests grouped together for the job. In reality you are faced with a never ending array of drug test panel combinations, many including drug groups that you have never heard of. Do you need a 3 panel or a 12 panel ? What is expected as a base line test ? Is there an industry specific minimum expected ? UKDT can give you help and advice in the choice of a suitable drug test panel combination, avoiding you paying for or testing for irrelevant drug groups. In fact most workplace drug testing needs no more than 5 or 6 drug groups on the panel used. Others may only be relevant to a specific demographic or regional drug issue, but we can guide you on this before you buy.

2) How far back do you want to test ?

Not all drug testing kits are the same. Most screening tests use urine or saliva samples to detect drugs. Urine drug testing will almost always look back further in time compared to an equivalent saliva drug test. In the workplace  a urine test will detect more social and recreational drug use which will have to be confirmed and addressed. Saliva drug tests may be a better choice in only detecting employees with active drugs in their system while attending the workplace. In this regard , more and more employers are selecting saliva drug testing kits as their first choice. A full brand specific list of drug detection times is available on our web site UKDrugTesting.co.uk

3) Urine or saliva collection, what’s best for you ?

Saliva Drug Screening

Saliva Drug Testing Kit

A lot of employers don’t like the idea of handling urine samples for drug testing. The one major disadvantage is not being able to directly observe the sample collection, this reduces the confidence in what is termed chain of custody, put simply knowing that the sample you are testing has come from the person you are wanting to test. Saliva drug testing is the best choice for employment drug testing is almost every location where a full healthcare suite will not be available in which to perform the drug tests. Samples can be collected at the point of testing. Where urine testing is preferred then cup drug tests are a design option to be considered. These are collection cups with both temperature strips and in some cases adulteration test strips incorporated. The temperature test reduces the risk of dilution or sample substitution, as does a simple urine adulteration test strip. The whole cup is given to the testee to provide a urine sample and with split cup designs the original sample can be sealed for confirmation testing. See ukdrugtesting drug test kit cups.

4) Branded quality counts in employment tribunals.

Instalert brand drug testing kits

Not all drug tests are born equal. The quality of the biotechnology and component construction are all critical to producing a reliable drug testing kit. Cheap drug testing kits will give inaccurate results leading to both false negative, and more problematic false positive results. Reliability and accuracy are key. Our advice is always buy a branded professional drug testing product from an established specialist distributor with many years experience of the drug test products and the brand you are about to purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask simple questions about the brand and how long they have been selling it. Ask how it is imported and stored and if batch certification is available for the drug testing kits you would be buying. CE and FDA certification are base requirements, granted every 3 years,  and not a guarantee of batch quality.

5) UK based customer sales and post sales support including cross reactivity data will be important to you.

You will have to deal with positive results if you perform workplace employment drug testing. You are going to need further information and technical support from your drug test kit supplier. You will value having direct phone access to someone who can answer you query. UKDrugTesting have UK based, office hours technical and product support available to all customers using our drug testing kits.

Visit our website www.ukdrugtesting.co.uk to find out more 

Business Drug Testing Kits-Advice for business drug screening in the workplace

workplace drug testing

Business drug and alcohol testing is growing, and now forms an important element of general health screening for job applicants, accross a wide spectrum of industry. The growth in drug use has seen more and more employers addressing the issues of drug misuse, dependency and social recreational use creeping into the workplace and employee productivity and safety. Pre-employment drug screening has seen the greatest growth in recent years, and now extends far beyond the safety critical employment roles.

Employers are perfectly at liberty to request applicants provide a drug screen sample as part of any job application. Prospective employees may decline. There is no current UK legislation preventing an employer from excluding a candidate on the basis that they have refused to provide a sample for drug screening as part of the companies routine pre-employment screening. As long as the drug screening is routine, this does not currently constitute discrimination of any kind. Indeed companies can argue that they hold a duty of care to ensure no employee undertakes duties while under the influence of drugs or alcohol which may make both them and their environment unsafe for themselves and fellow workers. The last argument is much stronger where the employment role includes safety critical duties.

Pre-employment drug testing is therefore one of the most easy and common programmes of drug screening to implement and operate. We are often asked by companies what is the most common package of drugs, or minimum range of drugs which is expected in a drug screening program. The answer is not always straight forward, as some consideration should be given to the target demographic and also local drug availability and usage patterns. As a base guide we would recommend a baseline of 5 or 6 drug groups, to which other local or industry specific additional can be made. FOR UK EMPLOYMENT DRUG TESTING we would recommend the screen cover  Cannabis, Cocaine, Opiates, Methamphetamine & Amphetamine +/- Benzodiazepines For most screening a 5 panel drug test kits is the best option for urine drug testing and if saliva drug testing is preferred then a 6 drug saliva testing kit for Cannabis, Cocaine, opiates, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and PCP is a great option. A wide range of urine and saliva drug test kits are currently available.

Buyers should ensure that packs are from a reputable specialist supplier, offering full technical support and cross reference data for the kits. All drug screening kits should be properly branded CE marked professional packs with original data sheet and both CE mark, manufacturers data and EU representative details for the CE quality mark (CE mark alone is not good enough) the product you buy should be healthcare standard class1 biotech imported as an IVDD (In Vitro Diagnostic Device) and stored correctly by the distributor. Ensure the supplier has over 10 years experience of drug screening biotechnology and has medically trained staff with clinical experience of drug screening available to advise you as part of the service.

Visit UK Drug Testing to see our current recommended drug testing kits for companies to perform workplace drug testing

Drug testing in the workplace

More and more companies in the UK are now routinely undertaking regular drug and alcohol testing programs. Leading the way are safety critical employers, where drug screening is an integral element of health and safety proceedure. UK Employment agencies are increasingly being requested to provide drug and alcohol tests as part of a routine pre-employment screen, and as an ongoing certification requirement for contract or agency staff, being deployed in safety critical employment environments.

Drug testing in the workplace need be no more taxing for employers than a routine urine dip health test for kidney disease or diabetes, and is available from under £4.00 per test.

Urine drug screening products offer the most cost effective and best route for effective detection of drug use in the preceeding 72hrs.

Many testing agencies would prefer to test using a saliva drug test kit, until they understand the much shorter period of detection achievable with instant on site saliva drug tests (12-24hrs in most drug group) Of course this can be an advantage where agencies are concerned only with detecting recent or active drugs, currently still in the employee and still likely to be psychoactive and affecting performance.

Urine drug tests will detect the use of drugs in the last 3 to 5 days, so they will detect recreational Cannabis, Ecstacy and Amphetamine use (club drugs) used on a Friday and Saturday, in employee drug tests on Monday or Tuesday.

A full list of product specific drug detection times is available from www.ukdrugtesting.co.uk with drug test detection times 

Packs specifically taylored to employers needs for drugs and alcohol testing are available from www.valuebreathalysers.co.uk

E-Z collection cup urine drug tests

E-Z drug test cups have been available for many years and have proved popular with both the drug treatment agencies and also with business users who wish to perform urine drug testing in the workplace.

The integrated urine collection and storage cup with built in drug test panel offers easy sample collection, and spill free storage and handling.

The urine drug test panel gives immediate on-site results to NIDA cut off levels for up to 10 drug groups.

Negative urine samples can be disgarded, while any positive urine samples can be retained, sealed with tamper proof seals (provided in all professional 25 test packs) and sent for laboratory comfirmation.

The E-Z urine drug test cup is available in a range of urine drug test combination from 5 to 10 drug groups depending on the requirments of the end user from www.ukdrugtesting.co.uk

The EZ collection cup system offers an ideal urine drug test system where facilities for sample collection and processing may be limited. The Instalert professional standard urine drug test membrane supplied as standard offers high accuracy and detection rates to CE EU IVDD standards, and is considered one of the best near patient urine drug screening products available.

Drug testing at work

Drug testing at work is now routine for thousands of safety critical workers. Employment contracts have evolved to enable employers to routinely screen for drugs pre-employment candidates, after workplace accidents and incidents, and on a random basis.

Drug testing at work has become more commonplace as rates of social drug and alcohol use have increased. Increasing social drug use is recognised to impact negatively on workplace productivity and safety. Increasing awareness of employers duty of care withing the workplace with the need to ensure a safe working environment at all times justifies indentifying employers attending the workplace under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Where the safety argument works for train drivers and fork lift truck operative, the productivity argument increasingly works for all other employees and increasingly managers at all levels.

 Drug and alcohol testing at work kits

More information and advice regarding choosing drug and alcohol testing kits for the workplace