When you apply for a new job, part of the application process involves alcohol or drug testing. Employers include pre-employment testing to determine if the applicant is the right fit for the position. This process ascertains that the person does not have risky habits that compromise workplace safety. Additionally, people who consume alcohol regularly have higher tendencies to be late or miss work. Moreover, recreational use of illicit substances has detrimental health effects and endangers the worksite. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption impairs the senses, perception, judgment, and motor functions. Therefore, the alcohol screening for job applications helps assess the person’s consumption behaviour. If you are applying for a job, check if alcohol and drug testing are included to prepare yourself accordingly.
A substantial portion of the population consumes alcohol regularly. As a result, many people report for work the following day with the after effects of alcohol. However, a slight blood alcohol content (BAC) can pose safety risks in the workplace. In particular, alcohol intoxication leads to decreased abilities in motor skills, especially operating pieces of equipment. Poor balance, uncoordinated movement, slow reaction time can lead to accidents or injuries. Therefore, many employers establish a workplace policy to manage safety risks effectively. One of the practical strategies is to conduct an alcohol screening for job applications. Even if you qualify in terms of experience or skills, a failed alcohol test may render you ineligible for the position. Additionally, regular alcohol test through breathalysers can helps maintain an alcohol-free working environment.
Alcohol Screening for Jobs: What is Included
An alcohol screening for job applications involves taking a breath test to detect alcohol presence in the blood. A device like the BACtrack professional breathalyser can capture the exhaled breath and instantly measure the BAC. Then, within 10 to 15 seconds, the breathalyser can estimate the BAC level or the degree of intoxication. Alcohol ingestion can stay in different body organs for specific periods. The breath test is the standard method for alcohol screening. However, other test procedures such as oral fluid, urine, blood, or hair can also detect alcohol use. For example, if the initial breath test shows a positive result, a blood sample or urine test may follow to validate the results. Alcohol metabolites or biomarkers can determine acute or chronic alcohol exposure. The following are various alcohol tests with their corresponding detection window:
- Ethanol – 1 to 12 hours in blood or urine
- EtG/EtS – 1 to 5 days in urine and 36 hours in blood
- Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrin (CDT) – 2 to 3 weeks in serum/plasma
- Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) – 1 to 2 weeks or longer in blood
Alcohol Screening for Jobs: Workplace Alcohol Policy
Excessive alcohol use has many known negative impacts on health and safety. A person with a high BAC level is more prone to errors or missteps, posing significant safety risks. The employer may implement an alcohol screening for job applications through an established workplace policy. The policy includes clear guidelines for conducting an alcohol screening test for work. For instance, it should state when or what conditions to facilitate the test and specific testing methods. A workplace policy enables the employer to reduce hazard risks through periodic evaluation. It also helps reduce liabilities and costs brought by consequences of alcohol use.
A comprehensive workplace alcohol policy must be specific to an organisation’s particular needs. Firstly, the employer must include in the notice that alcohol screening for job applications is a prerequisite. Then, the applicant must sign a formal agreement or consent to provide a sample through breath or other specimen samples. Then, the employer conducts alcohol screening through a breathalyser device to determine the BAC level. A successful application depends on the test results. Furthermore, it is essential to discuss workplace policies during pre-employment thoroughly. This is to let the job applicant know the expectations on proper conduct in the workplace. Finally, the signed workplace policy enables the employer to facilitate tests to reduce occupational hazards.
Alcohol Screening for Jobs: When to Conduct
An alcohol screening for job applications shows that the employer is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment. The workplace policy should be fair for employers and workers alike. Aside from the pre-employment process, there are other scenarios where an alcohol test is crucial.
- Random testing – The test can be unannounced or with select employees only through random draw lots. This test can determine employees who may abuse alcohol.
- Blanket – The test covers all personnel from top management to rank and file.
- Post-incident – The test is crucial to determine if alcohol is involved in the accident or near-miss.
- Reasonable Suspicion – If an employee shows symptoms of impairment, the management may request a breathalyser test to check the BAC level. Early detection is crucial to prevent accidents from occurring.
- Return-to-duty – An employee takes an alcohol test after testing positive in previous tests to be fit for duty.
Availability of Alcohol Testing Services
Companies may avail screening services from accredited testing centres nationwide. Testing centres provide complete alcohol and drug detection to ensure the workplace is safe and hazard-free. Many services include on-site testing for convenience. The laboratory set up a mobile unit near the work site to gather specimen samples. It only takes a few minutes for each employee to complete the tests without disrupting normal operations. Particularly, the alcohol screening for job applications through a breathalyser only takes a few seconds and you will know the results immediately. Meanwhile, drug screening tests typically use urine sampling. It is less intrusive than a blood sample test and it can trace different types of illicit substances. Typically, alcohol is not included in the standard urine analysis but the employer may request it to be included if they also screen for drug use.
BACtrack: Reliable Alcohol Monitoring System
An alcohol breath test is a quick and efficient way to know the blood alcohol level. The BACtrack devices from Breathalysers Australia provide reliable BAC testings to many individual consumers and industries nationwide. In particular, the BACtrack workplace breathalysers employs platinum fuel cell sensors to measure the BAC level accurately. Fuel cell sensors can deliver precise and consistent results despite back-to-back testing. Police officers also use the same technology in roadside screening. Therefore, they are suitable devices for alcohol screening for job applications and regular workplace testing.
Breathalysers Australia offers a wide range of BACtrack devices for home, personal, or workplace use. All BACtrack breathalysers have an optimal breath capture system to get the precise sample and ensure accuracy. You may use the BACtrack professional breathalysers to facilitate alcohol screening for job applications. An alcohol test through a breathalyser is more cost-efficient than a laboratory examination like urine or blood sample test. Furthermore, you can operate a breathalyser without needing a licensed professional. The one-button operations of BACtrack allows for a quick and easy alcohol breath tests. Visit Breathalysers Australia for the comprehensive selection of alcohol testers suitable for your workplace needs.