Importance of Pre Employment Alcohol Screening in the Workplace
11 April, 2022
Establishing a stable workforce is vital in attaining optimum performance. Employees work better if they feel safe and protected in their surroundings. A company policy guides how employees should act in keeping the environment safe and healthy. For example, workers should observe safety procedures to prevent serious injuries or property damage. One of the effective strategies for maintaining workplace safety is conducting pre-employment alcohol screening for applicants. A healthy workplace can start before a new employee gets on board. Likewise, requiring a pre-employment alcohol screening shows that the company takes its employees’ well-being seriously.
Alcohol consumption is widespread, especially in the working sectors across all industries. Unfortunately, the misuse of alcohol has led to accidents, poor work performance, high expenses and losses. Thus, more companies have introduced workplace testing to control the harmful effects of alcohol. Nowadays, a pre-employment alcohol screening is mandatory if the job is safety-critical. Employers use devices like the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand to determine the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) during the screening. The BACtrack testers from Breathalysers New Zealand are portable devices that can measure the BAC or impairment degree through the breath sample. Workplace breathalysers are valuable tools in managing occupational hazards by monitoring the employees’ alcohol levels.
Pre-Employment Alcohol Screening Test Requirement
An essential aspect of hiring candidates is to look at their credentials, skills, and experience. Nowadays, employers also look at the applicant’s alcohol background or behaviour. High-risk industries implement strict zero-tolerance alcohol policies to minimise safety hazards. Any alcohol content can impair a person’s senses or abilities to do a task safely. Alcohol consumption can affect vision, hearing, speech, reaction time, reasoning, and coordination. An impaired worker can make poor decisions or technical errors, resulting in accidents and injuries. Thus, it is critical to hire employees that will not compromise workplace safety. Job applicants need a 0.00% BAC to pass the pre-employment alcohol screening. A positive BAC may make the person ineligible for the position or job offer.
Why Pre-Employment Alcohol Screening is Important
Alcohol-related incidents lead to the high cost of employee care, property damage, compensation claims, and turnover rates. Without workplace testing, the organisation will continue to incur high expenses and affect their productivity. It will also cost employees to lose trust and confidence in the company. Therefore, hiring suitable candidates is critical in cultivating an alcohol-free culture. Moreover, a pre-employment alcohol screening aims to:
- Find out how the person will fit in with the organisation.
- Determine if the job candidate possesses risky alcohol behaviour or alcohol abuse. Impairment or consuming alcohol during work hours poses significant health and safety risks.
- Manage safety risks. Monitoring helps deter alcohol use and minimises occupational hazards.
- Reduce accidents or casualties – Lesser accidents means lower cost, downtime, and turnover rates.
- Improve productivity. Fit employees result in good attendance and high output. Likewise, employees thrive better within a safe environment.
- Reduce liabilities. Employers can educate prospective employees during pre-employment about the negative impact of alcohol use at work. Additionally, it helps employers mitigate legal liabilities because of workers’ negligence.
Pre-Employment Alcohol Screening: Workplace Policies
Employers can implement pre-employment alcohol screening and other tests through a comprehensive alcohol program. The program defines the safety regulations and procedures regarding alcohol use in the workplace. A zero-alcohol policy through a breath test helps reduce safety risks. Moreover, under the Health and Safety Work Act (HSW Act) of New Zealand, everyone has a duty to ensure workplace safety. In particular, the management and personnel have the following responsibilities:
- Employers – Manage safety risks by minimising factors that can endanger workers. One of the cost-effective strategies is to conduct alcohol screening through a breath test. Most companies use a breathalyser like BACtrack to detect alcohol efficiently. The BACtrack breathalysers employ fuel cell sensors for the highest accuracy and process the breath sample in 10 to 15 seconds.
- Employees – Follow safety procedures by not engaging in harmful practices. For example, employees must abide by company policies such as subjecting to an alcohol test for safety reasons.
Workplace Screening Procedures
Employers can administer pre-employment alcohol screening through several procedures. The common test method for alcohol is a breath test. Other options include urine, oral fluid, hair, and blood sampling. However, they are often used for drug screening. For alcohol screening only, a workplace breathalyser from Breathalysers New Zealand is cost-effective. Breathalysers can detect alcohol in the system for 24 hours from the last consumption. Therefore, they are suitable for determining recent alcohol exposure in a random test, for-cause test, or post-incident/accident test. Alcohol intoxication has no place at work, especially if lives are at stake. As an employer, a breathalyser is a valuable tool in reducing alcohol-related accidents.
A pre-employment alcohol screening is often the last requirement of the application process. These tests are very common in safety-critical jobs. In case of a positive result, the employer may request a confirmatory test (second test) through a blood test. A blood test is considered the most accurate test for alcohol or drugs. However, due to the cost and time element, they are better suited to confirm initial tests that have tested positive. As an employee, you also can use a personal breathalyser to monitor your BAC. Breathalysers New Zealand also has personal breathalysers with pro-grade accuracy to ensure precise BAC readings when you consume alcohol.
Reliable Devices from Breathalysers New Zealand
Pre-employment alcohol screening is reliable with a workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers New Zealand. It can determine the precise alcohol level to help employers make smart hiring decisions. Workplaces and testing laboratories use fuel cell breathalysers for the highest accuracy. Fuel cell breathalysers are specific to ethanol and do not react with other substances in the breath. Thus, they are less likely to produce false positives. Particularly, the BACtrack workplace breathalysers ensure precise breath sample capture through an optimal internal pump. The breath pump collects the exhaled breath while keeping ambient air out. Moreover, fuel cell breathalysers maintain their consistency despite high-volume use. It is the same technology law enforcement use in roadside screening.
Companies with an alcohol policy have lesser accident rates and improve productivity. A breathalyser like BACtrack is an effective BAC monitoring tool to keep the working environment alcohol-free. You can get a reliable device for pre-employment alcohol screening at Breathalysers New Zealand online. Breathalysers New Zealand offers high-performing alcohol testers with the BACtrack Mobile Gen2, S80 Pro Gen2, Alcovisor Mercury, and Alcotorch. The breathalysers have FDA approval, meeting federal requirements for a breath screening device. You can ensure peace of mind when you have a dependable device for safety. Breathalysers New Zealand also offers a wide range of alcohol testers for personal use. A personal breathalyser helps you make smart and responsible choices in and outside the workplace.