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These are the Guidelines for an Alcohol Screening for Job Application

21 April, 2022

Alcohol impairment is a persistent issue, especially in workplaces. It poses a health and safety risk to the individual and the work community. Consuming excessive alcohol can result in severe impairments which can affect an individual’s ability to perform tasks safely. In particular, impairments while operating machinery, vehicles, or working at heights poses a huge hazard. Workplace safety depends on the effective implementation of safety procedures and employee awareness. Employees play a significant role in upholding a safe and healthy environment. Therefore, choosing new employees to join the workforce is critical. Aside from skills and credentials, employers also look at the job applicant’s alcohol use behaviour. Many companies would typically include an alcohol screening for job applications to assess an applicant’s overall qualifications.

An alcohol screening for job application is an essential requirement for high-risk industries. It aims to identify applicants with substance use problems or who may have risky alcohol behaviour. Additionally, employees who misuse alcohol tend to display reckless actions that can compromise workplace safety. Moreover, several blood test results reveal alcohol to be a common factor in workplace accidents. Therefore, companies establish alcohol policies to reduce accidents. Nowadays, employers would routinely conduct breath tests to determine an applicant’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or the intoxication level. Applicants must have a 0.00% BAC level to pass the test. Workplaces use professional breathalysers as an efficient way to measure the BAC. The workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand, are highly capable devices for reliable and accurate alcohol tests. 

Alcohol Screening for Job Application Guidelines

An employer may strictly require an alcohol screening for a job application if the role is safety-sensitive. A comprehensive policy enables an employer to administer alcohol testing for pre-employment or on-the-job. It allows employers to conduct workplace tests legally to mitigate safety risks, liabilities, and costs. Additionally, employers must consider many important factors in conducting workplace testing. There should be a collaborative effort between management and workers to implement an effective policy. An alcohol screening for job guidelines includes the following considerations:

  • Workplace policies and employment agreement – A workplace policy allow employers to conduct alcohol tests within reasonable grounds. However, applicants must understand and consent to perform and pass the test to get the job. Furthermore, an employment agreement details that the applicant is subject to random or regular testing during the whole employment term. 
  • Health and safety regulations – The policy outlines the specific rules that all employees should follow or observe. In addition, it includes conditions of alcohol use or impairment in the workplace. 
  • Testing procedures – The methods for alcohol screening. The standard procedures workplaces use are breath, urine, saliva, and blood test. Breathalysers New Zealand offers FDA and DOT-certified devices for reliable test results. 
  • Employee rights – Employers must consider employees’ rights and privacy, especially in sample collection and test results. 
  • Handling positive results – The policy states the consequences if an employee returns with a positive BAC. 
  • Employee assistance program – An employee with an alcohol use disorder can enter a rehabilitation program to recover and return to work. 

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Alcohol Screening for Job Application: Using a Breathalyser

The company may facilitate an alcohol screening for job using several methods. An alcohol screening through a breathalyser is the most cost-efficient among the standard tests available. Breathalysers are handheld devices that measure the BAC level. The BACtrack workplace devices from Breathalysers New Zealand utilise fuel cell sensor technology giving precise BAC readings. Fuel cell sensors provide accurate and consistent BAC measurements up to 1,000 tests before recalibration. They are specific to ethanol and do not react with other substances in the breath. Therefore, they are less likely to produce false-positives. This feature is valuable as it will not interfere with the results of people with diabetes or on a low-calorie diet. 

Employers can use a workplace breathalyser from Breathalysers New Zealand to get precise BAC results. A breathalyser can detect recent alcohol exposure through a breath sample. If a person consumes alcohol the night before the test, a breathalyser may be able to pick up a positive BAC reading. Depending on intake, breathalysers can detect alcohol for 12 to 24 hours from the last consumption. In alcohol screening for job application, the person must have zero alcohol content to pass the test. Moreover, fuel cell breathalysers can accurately trace alcohol concentrations up to 0.40% BAC. 

Alcohol Screening for Job after Hiring

Alcohol screening for job applications is the beginning of workplace safety procedures. Companies with an alcohol program facilitate regular tests to maintain a safe environment. It helps reduce substance impairment at work and minimises occupational hazards. Early detection of impairment is critical to preventing serious injuries. Moreover, employers conduct alcohol tests in the following instances: 

  • Post-incident – Determine if alcohol use contributed to the accident or near-miss.
  • Random – Random or unannounced test identifies if an employee is currently intoxicated. It can also help identify employees with alcohol use disorder who need assistance or intervention.
  • Reasonable suspicion – A supervisor or manager may request an alcohol test for a specific individual displaying obvious signs of impairment. Confirming intoxication is critical before any untoward incidents occur. However, the employer must follow a guideline in approaching the concerned employee. 
  • Post-treatment – An employee returning from rehabilitation must prove sobriety to be fit for work.

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What Happens After a Positive Test

An alcohol screening for job application is often the final requirement of the hiring process. The condition requires a 0.00% alcohol content result to pass the test. Consequently, the applicant may become ineligible if the test result is positive. However, employers may perform a follow-up test to confirm the initial results. The standard confirmatory procedure is a blood sample test. A blood test is the most accurate but most invasive form of testing. A medical review officer analyses the sample to validate the final test results. On the other hand, to maintain safety, most workplaces use a breathalyser like BACtrack to identify impairments. Workplace breathalysers enable employers to conduct frequent alcohol testing to manage safety risks effectively. Other possible workplace tests are urine and saliva tests. These tests commonly test for drug use. 

Advantages of BACtrack Breathalysers

BACtrack alcohol testers from Breathalysers New Zealand are cost-effective devices to give accurate BAC readings. The BACtrack workplace breathalysers have efficient one-button operations for fast and easy use. This feature lets employers begin a breath test with just a button press. The sensors warm up immediately and can process the breath sample in 10 to 15 seconds. As a result, employers can rely on the BACtrack breathalysers for reliable alcohol screening for job application results.  The BACtrack fuel cell breathalysers have professional-grade accuracy, the same technology found in roadside breath screenings. Moreover, consistent alcohol screening can help reduce workplace accidents, improve productivity, lessen absenteeism and turnover rates, and minimise costs. Lastly, alcohol screening through a breathalyser helps employers make the right hiring decisions and improve workplace safety. 

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