What is the Standard Drug and Alcohol Test
22 March, 2022
What are the effects drugs and alcohol? Both can cause impairment of an individual’s mental and physical capabilities. Furthermore, consumption may cause long-term issues for health, and increase hazardous situations. For various other reasons, nowadays, it is typical for companies to have testing policies in the workplace that includes both alcohol and drug sampling. A standard drug and alcohol test is essential for workplace safety. Worries and responsibilities regarding alcohol and drug use vary for each business. Many screening services are pretty flexible and allow the company to establish a customised workplace testing policy that fits the business’ goals and the industry’s requirements.
Standard Drug and Alcohol Test: Alcohol Testing
The most typical ways a business can conduct a standard drug and alcohol test for the presence of alcohol are through alcohol breath testing and saliva tests:
- Breath testing: Although alcohol breath tests can be done in various ways, the most typical method is using a Breathalyser device. Breathalysers New Zealand is the perfect breath testing device company. We provide genuine BACtrack Breathalysers that is AS 3547certified. DOT has created strict requirements for breath testing devices used for workplace testing. Employers should use breath testing devices that meet these high standards for workplace testing. The BACtrack Pro models are an excellent choice for workplace breath testers. The sturdy S80 Pro utilises police-grade fuel cell sensors that provide highly accurate and constant BAC readings. BACtrack breathalysers are an excellent choice for conducting standard drug and alcohol tests.
- Saliva testing: Oral fluid tests detect the presence of ethanol. Although this test is a bit more costly than urine testing, oral fluid tests are quick and easy to conduct and can also detect alcohol consumed within the past two days. This test should be done and prepared in a certified testing facility, although professional representatives can conduct the test at the workplace.
Standard Drug and Alcohol Test: Australian Standards
There is no particular standard drug and alcohol test for the workplace. Moreover, there are various options available for workplace testing in Australia. However, there are specific guidelines for handling certain test samples. These strict guidelines also cover test samples during the collecting, handling, disposal, and reporting of these samples. These three relevant standards include:
- AS 3547:1997
- AS 4760-2006
- AS/NZS 4308:2008
Standard Drug and Alcohol Test in the workplace is a strategy that companies should consider using to manage safety risks and improve workplace productivity and employee health. Drug and alcohol tests may be done randomly, voluntarily, after accidents and under suspicion. Before conducting any tests, it is essential to understand Australian alcohol and drug testing standards. Companies should also know there are various testing methods available and their rights for testing. Additionally, companies should also know their limitations when screening employees for drugs and alcohol.
When Should You Test for Drugs and Alcohol?
Conducting a standard drug and alcohol test may be appropriate in various businesses. It is vital in high risk and safety-critical occupations. The misuse of alcohol and drugs can cause harm to the employees in the workplace. Some industries like aviation, mining, transportation, law enforcement, and construction that handle potentially dangerous equipment have zero-tolerance policies.
Breathalysers New Zealand highly recommends that an alcohol breath tester is essential for workplace testing and even personal use. BACtrack has a wide range of personal and professional breathalyser units. From small keychain unit testers and mobile compatible units to professional and highly accurate fuel cell breath testing devices. BACtrack breathalysers provide users with quick and easy access to breath testing whenever they need to know their BAC levels. Conducting a standard drug and alcohol test will be quick and easy with the help of a handy and highly portable breathalyser.
Standard Drug and Alcohol Test: Policies
If a company intends to conduct a standard drug and alcohol test in the workplace, the company should have an established workplace drug and alcohol testing policy. This policy should clearly outline the terms, procedures and repercussions for drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Clear and concise instructions on testing, such as when, how and why testing will be done should be included. Furthermore, the policy should also ensure that the companies are using certified devices and testing services.
Finally, the policy should indicate how standard drug and alcohol test results will determine if an employee is unfit for work and the repercussions of getting a positive test result. Companies should include the conditions where a positive test could result in a dismissal. It is essential for staff to be aware of and understand the workplace alcohol and drug policies.
Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing
Varying drug and alcohol tests also have different levels of accuracy and varied turnaround periods for test results. There are various methods of testing. An effective standard drug and alcohol test policy will likely include any or all of the following tests:
- Random testing – is unannounced and designed to determine employees who are using drugs and alcohol in the workplace—randomly selecting employees that will undergo testing.
- Blanket testing – testing all employees within the company in one single event.
- ‘For cause’ testing – if a supervisor has reasonable suspicion that an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they might request a standard drug and alcohol test.
- Pre-employment testing – Testing applicants before joining the workforce or sending them on a business trip.
- Post-accident testing – testing staff after a workplace accident occurs.
- Post-positive testing, where a worker who tested non-negative previously must test negative before they can return to their duties.
- Rehabilitation testing – for workers who finished or are currently undergoing rehabilitation for alcohol or drug misuse.
- Voluntary testing – where an employee agrees to conduct a standard drug and alcohol test.
Whatever the testing methods a company chooses to establish, the drug and alcohol testing policy must be clearly outlined. There is also a strict set of procedures for a standard drug and alcohol test that must be followed:
- Individuals undergoing the test must receive a sample that they can have independently tested. Also known as a ‘split sample’.
- Testing must comply with a strict chain-of-custody. Multiple people handle the provided samples. And the specimens is constantly moving throughout the process.
- A standard drug and alcohol test can be conducted by a hired expert or company staff. It is vital that the individual administering the test is properly trained in the drug-testing method. Companies must hire professional credited testing laboratories for workplace testing.
- Confidentiality is essential throughout the testing process.
The legality of standard drug and alcohol tests can vary from state to state. Businesses should seek legal counsel if they have questions and clarifications about their workplace drug and alcohol testing policy.