The Importance of Medical Drug and Alcohol Test
24 June, 2022
Testing current and potential employees can significantly prevent accidents and injuries resulting from drug and alcohol impairment. Pre-employment or random testing can detect the presence of alcohol, illicit substances, or misused prescription medicines in the system. Why is there a need to test employees at work? Alcohol or drugs can stimulate or inhibit the nervous system and cause hallucinogenic effects. A medical drug and alcohol test is vital to identify employees who may compromise the safety of the whole workplace.
Many employers implement a medical drug and alcohol test to help deter substance abuse and impairments at work. Pre-employment or random drug and alcohol testing are standard practices, especially for safety-critical industries. For example, an alcohol test ensures that workers are fit to operate heavy machinery. You can conveniently measure Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels using a breath testing device like BACtrack workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand. A high BAC level would mean the employee could have difficulties working properly. Likewise, employees with a high BAC could also have judgment impairments and poor decision-making ability. Therefore, using accurate devices like BACtrack workplace breathalysers with fuel cell sensors can ensure that every worker is fit to work.
Medical Drug and Alcohol Test Workplace Policies
Establishing a clear and reasonable policy is essential before conducting a medical drug and alcohol test in the workplace. Employers can use a comprehensive approach to undertake workplace testing. The policy usually includes the most critical aspects of occupational safety, such as:
- The regulations regarding drug and alcohol use and tolerance
- When to conduct a drug and alcohol screening
- Testing methods to use
- Employee consent
- Employee rights, privacy, and confidentiality
- Repercussions and actions the company should take for positive results
- The company provides training and education for employees regarding substance abuse.
- The purpose and aim of establishing the workplace drug and alcohol testing policy
- Who will undergo testing
- What are the testing limitations?
- The roles and responsibilities for conducting the workplace testing policy
- Following strict procedures when identifying alcohol or drug issues.
- Providing support services for employees
It is essential to have a defined workplace alcohol and drug testing policy. A medical drug and alcohol test added to the workplace policy can drastically help businesses. Additionally, the policy should provide specific terms and conditions if employees violate the workplace policy. Therefore, conducting workplace substance testing with clear policies can significantly increase the company’s overall productivity. Breathalysers New Zealand offers 100% genuine BACtrack products to help improve safety.
Different Methods For Medical Drugs and Alcohol Tests
Alcohol is a popular beverage all around the world. It is also an essential feature of many civilisations and occasions. However, any amount of alcohol can be harmful to one’s health and raise the chance of injury. Furthermore, excessive consumption can lead to severe impairment. In particular, alcohol use can result in impaired vision, hearing loss, slowed reaction time, and poor eye-hand coordination. As a result, impaired abilities increase the likelihood of an accident. Workplace can perform a medical drug and alcohol test using various methods such as:
- Breath test: A breathalyser detects alcohol for 12 to 24 hours, depending on the amount consumed. Breathalysers New Zealand’s workplace breathalysers include bigger fuel cell sensors for precise BAC estimation.
- Urine test: The standard urine test can determine alcohol and drug use within 24 to 48 hours. However, employers may conduct this test on suspected employees using drugs at work.
- Oral fluid test: Saliva testing is quick and cheap. This procedure may be an option for those who have trouble providing urine samples.
- Blood test: A blood test can identify alcohol and other substances for 6 hours. It is the most accurate test currently available. However, it is the least used due to its invasive nature. The workplace usually conducts a blood test for confirmation of preliminary positive results.
- Hair test: This one has the longest detection span among the other tests. This test will require the employee to provide cut hair strands.
When to Conduct a Workplace Medical Drug and Alcohol Test?
Companies do testing for a variety of purposes. Most workplace policies identify specific scenarios in which employers can adequately conduct a workplace medical drug and alcohol test. In these cases, screening can dramatically increase worker safety. Therefore, businesses can also provide tests during:
- Pre-Employment: Employers can conduct this testing before recruiting new personnel. This testing situation can help employers make the right hiring decisions.
- Blanket testing: This type of testing involves testing all employees simultaneously. This testing can help employers confirm that their employees are fit and safe for work.
- Random testing: This testing is unannounced to help employers identify employees who may be concealing their usage.
- Post-accident/incident testing: Test given to employees who have been engaged in a workplace accident or injury. This test can help determine the probable cause of an accident.
- For-cause testing: Employers would administer tests to employees they suspect are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, for an employer to provide testing sustainably, significant evidence is required.
- Return to work testing: This test is for employees who have returned to work following a leave of absence. Absences are frequently taken because of hospitalisation, illness, or if they passed the previous screening for work.
Workplace Testing Advantages
Effective drug and alcohol policies are critical in maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. A consistent medical drug and alcohol test is beneficial in many ways. Generally, it promotes a safe environment, increases productivity, improves employee morale, and lowers employers’ costs. The primary purpose of drug and alcohol tests is to prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. Additionally, impairment leads to risky behaviour, which causes uneasy and strained relationships with colleagues. A substance-free workplace boosts employees’ confidence in the job. Knowing their company prioritises safety makes employees feel valued and more committed at work. As a result, there is a low turnover and absenteeism rate. Furthermore, workplace accidents cost companies billions of dollars in yearly losses and expenses. The benefits of drugs and alcohol tests outweigh the costs of implementing them.
There are many accidents across many industries due to alcohol or drug use. Therefore, each workplace must have a comprehensive safety policy to avoid untoward incidents. A regular medical drug and alcohol test is essential to managing risks and working hazards. A workplace breathalyser is suitable if you need a quick and convenient method to check for alcohol intake. Breathalysers New Zealand has various highly accurate and reliable BACtrack breathalysers.
BACtrack at Breathalysers New Zealand
The BACtrack workplace breathalysers are excellent devices for keeping the workplace safe. Breathalysers New Zealand offers highly precise and reliable alcohol breath testers with the BACtrack professional models. Furthermore, despite high-volume testing, these professional models maintain consistency for a more extended period. The same professional-grade sensor technology used in roadside alcohol testing is used in BACtrack devices. As a result, the BACtrack professional models are effective devices for workplace medical drug and alcohol tests. For a complete list of BACtrack alcohol testers, you can visit the official website of Breathalysers New Zealand.