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Failed Drug Test and Alcohol Test: What Now?

24 June, 2022

One in five people (19.9%) has risky drinking habits, according to the NZ Ministry of Health Annual Survey for 2020–2021. As a result, it’s possible that workers could be impaired by alcohol while at work. Drug and alcohol testing at random can help prevent substance misuse. These tests can be carried out with testing facilities and BACtrack workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand. Employers implement a drug policy at work to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. A failed drug test could have serious consequences depending on the impairment’s severity. Moreover, employees should be aware of their obligations and disciplinary actions if a specific drug and alcohol policy is violated. Employers need to treat affected workers with kindness and assistance. 

Understanding a Failed Drug Test and Alcohol Test 

What follows a failed drug test and alcohol test? A thorough inquiry would be required if a drug test was positive. A medical review officer first interviews an employee to rule out other possibilities that would explain the positive test outcome. Additionally, the employee might also seek verification from other institutions. As an employer, you must consistently handle the affected person per your alcohol and drug policy. Also, the employer may talk about ways to make accommodations in the worker’s best interests.  

In the case of pre-employment screening, a job offer is reliant on passing a drug test. If the applicant has a failed drug test, the company may withdraw the offer. Companies implementing alcohol and drug programs have noticeably higher employee confidence and productivity levels. Additionally, it motivates employees to make better judgments for the benefit of all. You can also use a breathalyser for alcohol testing to assess the employees’ Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to ensure the workplace is always safe. You can use BACtrack workplace breathalysers for accurate BAC measurements. These devices use the same sensor technology you can find in a law enforcement’s breathalyser. 

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What to Do After Failing: Employee 

Employers use alcohol and drug tests to determine whether a person’s behaviour has become problematic. Impaired employees provide subpar work quality and raise the possibility of accidents. As a result, businesses take a failed drug test result seriously. What happens then if a person fails the test? If an employee encounters a failed drug test and alcohol test, they have the following options: 

  • Confirmation – A second, more thorough test will verify the previous screening results. 
  • Review – A medical review officer will send the company the inspection results. If you pass or fail the test, the company will then get in touch with you. 
  • Retest – After being informed by the employer or MRO, you may ask for a new examination of the specimen sample. Also, you must submit this request within 72 hours as well. Most of the time, the applicant is responsible for paying for the retest. 

What to Do After a Failed Drug Test and Alcohol Test: Employer 

For many reasons, the employer may assist with workplace tests. What occurs if an employee returns with a failed drug test or alcohol test? When a result is positive, the employer has several options. The impacted employee may also pursue due process. Furthermore, the employer has the following options: 

  • Probation – serving several weeks or months on probation is a requirement of the disciplinary process after a failed drug test and alcohol test. The goal of the time frame is for the employee to abstain from drug use. 
  • Rehabilitation – treatment is crucial for those with an alcohol or drug use disorder. Employee consents to receive treatment and resume work until fully recovered. 
  • Termination – refusal to undergo rehabilitation by an employee may cause termination. To avoid legal problems, an employer must adhere to the workplace policy rules. 

Drug and Alcohol Testing Situations  

Employers administer drug tests for various reasons and circumstances. A failed drug test may come from: 

  • Pre-employment Testing – employers often require pre-employment drug testing, and job offers are based upon passing the tests. 
  • Blanket Testing – everybody in the workplace is tested. 
  • Random Testing – this test can assist in discovering employees that may be hiding their usage. 
  • Post-accident/post-incident Testing – employees involved in an accident are tested. Also, this examination can assist in determining an accident’s possible cause. Additionally, this test can assist employers in deciding what to do next in the event of an accident. Employers could look into other possible causes, such as malfunctioning equipment or processes if the accident were not caused by intoxication. 
  • For-cause – when an employer suspects a worker is under the influence, they may administer testing. However, an employer must present reliable evidence to execute the test. Subpar performance, almost accidents, or unprofessional behaviour raises suspicions from the employer.
  • Return to Work – employees who have only recently returned to work following hospitalisation or suspension are subject to these examinations.  

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Methods for Testing 

A failed drug test and alcohol test may show in different testing methods. Such methods are: 

  • Blood Test – Blood drug tests are sometimes used by businesses to verify job candidates and workers for illegal drug and alcohol use. However, most employers do not use blood tests since they are invasive and expensive. Also, they have limited detection windows that may only be present for a few hours. 
  • Urine Test – Urine testing is employers’ most popular pre-employment drug test. However, in contrast to conventional drug tests, they have a smaller detection window. 
  • Saliva Test – Saliva tests provide a detection window of 7 to 21 hours and are less invasive than other methods. Nevertheless, they can be a good solution for companies who don’t want to risk issues if workers don’t provide enough urine. 
  • Hair Test – hair tests can detect drug usage due to their broad detection range. They can trace drugs or alcohol up to three months. However, it cannot identify the amount of alcohol but only disclose past drug or alcohol use. 
  • Breath Test – Employers may administer breath alcohol tests when they think a worker is working while intoxicated. This test uses a breathalyser device and shows the employee’s blood alcohol content at the time of the test. 

Prevent Failed Drug Test and Alcohol Test 

Even when looking to get a job or when already working, you must pass drug testing to continue. Unfortunately, many highly competent applicants and employees were passed over for the job or terminated due to a failed drug test and alcohol tests. Employers consider a candidate’s substance use, risky behaviour, and abilities and credentials. Moreover, an employee must remain sober at work if their job requires them to do safety-sensitive actions. In addition, monitoring their alcohol consumption during free time can help prospective employees avoid failing tests. Additionally, knowing how drugs and alcohol affect your body might help you make wise choices. Breathalysers New Zealand is offering BACtrack workplace breathalysers for effective alcohol monitoring. You can utilise a workplace breathalyser to limit consumption and avoid exceeding the legal limit. Additionally, breathalysers enable you to track your alcohol level to ensure you are fully sober during testing. 

 

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