Alcohol Screening Test for Job: What to Expect

Now and then, news of accidents makes it to headlines and the front page because of alcohol intoxication. More people consume alcohol in an average week and report to work intoxicated in Australia. A person with a BAC (blood alcohol content), no matter how small, poses safety risks. Any alcohol level in the blood is considered unsafe for operating a vehicle or machinery. Employee health and safety are vital aspects in workplaces that impact the business’s overall performance and output. For that reason, maintaining a healthy and stable workforce is a significant factor in achieving the organisations’ goals. Many employers manage occupational risks by implementing an alcohol screening test for job sites.

Alcohol is a depressant that can impair the senses and cognitive function. High alcohol concentrations affect visual acuity, perception, coordination, balance, and reaction time. People who do not monitor their BAC has an increased risk of getting into an accident. Alcohol intoxication is one of the leading factors in road crashes. Similarly, it also poses substantial safety risks in the workplace. In addition, workplace accidents in Australia account for billions of dollars in losses yearly. That is why an alcohol screening test for job is necessary for keeping the workplace safe and healthy. Companies with alcohol testing reports reduced workplace incidents and improved productivity. 

Alcohol Screening Test for Job: Alcohol Screening

An alcohol screening test for job detects recent alcohol consumption in a person. An alcohol breath test is the standard method for screening alcohol. The employer or certified facility uses a breathalyser device to determine the BAC level. Breathalysers Australia works with critical industries to provide accurate and reliable breath tests through the BACtrack breathalysers. The BACtrack breathalysers utilise advanced fuel cell sensor technology to process alcohol in the breath. Fuel cell sensors have police-grade accuracy, the same technology used by hospitals, clinics, and police officers in roadside screenings. In addition, the BACtrack breathalysers have an effective breath capture system to take a precise breath sample for analysis. BACtrack oxidises alcohol and delivers your BAC results within 10 to 15 seconds. 


Alcohol Screening Test for Job: Signs of Alcohol Impairment

Alcohol affects individuals differently. Some people have high alcohol tolerance taking more amounts with little effects while some feel intoxicated in lesser amounts. The alcohol effects varies with each person depending on how the body influence the BAC. Specifically, various factors affect the BAC such as body type, fat content, weight, gender, age, food intake, and metabolism. If a person takes medication, it can also contribute to the rapid increase of BAC. It is essential to understand how alcohol affects your body or your BAC so you can make informed decisions. An alcohol screening test for job can trace alcohol even at low BAC range. Impairment may not be obvious physically but it can still compromise workplace safety. Conversely, checking the following symptoms can help you identify and pull-out worker before an incident occurs:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Alcohol odor in breath
  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Confusion
  • Slow reaction time
  • Rude or aggressive behaviour
  • Poor balance
  • Poor coordination

Taking Alcohol Test – What to Expect

An alcohol screening test for job analyses your breath sample to determine your intoxication level. If you did not consume alcohol, the device would display 0.00%. However, if you drink the night before a breathalyser test, the device can pick up alcohol immediately. When alcohol enters the body, it passes from the stomach to the small intestines and the blood. The blood distributes alcohol in different body organs where they stay for a certain period. It takes between 15 to 20 minutes for the body to absorb alcohol. For instance, alcohol is a volatile substance and vaporises quickly. Alcohol in the lungs exits the body through exhalation.

The more you consume alcohol, the higher your BAC is. However, despite the rapid increase in BAC, you cannot speed up the process of its decline. The body can only burn off limited alcohol amounts every hour. On average, the liver can process 0.016% BAC per hour. This is true for everyone regardless of their age, weight or gender. For example, if your BAC is 0.07%, your BAC after one hour is 0.054%, which is over Australia’s legal limit (0.05% BAC). Depending on your intake, alcohol can stay in your system for 12 to 24 hours. It is best to monitor your BAC level through a personal breathalyser like BACtrack to moderate your consumption. An alcohol screening test for job monitors employee BAC to reduce risks.


Alcohol Screening Test for Job: Workplace Alcohol Policy

Many workplaces in Australia implement a policy to manage risks brought by alcohol impairment. A workplace program is a standard procedure for safety-critical industries or those regulated by the government. Specifically, jobs involving heavy equipment operation rely on employees’ alertness and sobriety to perform the tasks safely. For example, mining, construction, transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare industries have a zero-tolerance alcohol policy. In effect, workers must not have any alcohol content in their blood to minimise hazards. Private organisations may also enact a zero-alcohol tolerance policy or set a BAC limit, depending on the risk levels of the job. For instance, the company may set a BAC limit of 0.05%, the legal limit in Australia. An alcohol screening test for job is carried out regularly to keep the working environment safe and healthy. 

Benefits of Alcohol Screening

Instituting an alcohol screening test for job as part of a workplace policy serves the best interest of employers and employees. Employers must also take reasonable measures to manage safety hazards in the worksite. A comprehensive policy aims to reduce accidents and proactively promote a safer workplace and healthy culture. In addition, workers perform better in a healthy environment. An effective program also gives the following benefits:

  • Minimise or prevent accidents; decrease injuries
  • Increased productivity
  • Compliance with state laws
  • Reduced healthcare costs and losses
  • Reduced absenteeism, downtime or turnover rates
  • Boost employee morale
  • Deter alcohol use 
  • Reduce liabilities
  • Stable workforce

Personal Alcohol Screening Test

For employees, you can monitor your intoxication level by using a personal breathalyser. Breathalysers Australia provides accurate and dependable BAC tests through BACtrack breathalysers. Having a personal alcohol tester lets you check your BAC level every time you consume alcohol. Conduct a breath test every few rounds of drinks to see how your alcohol content goes. If your BAC is nearing the legal limit, you can slow down your intake or stop altogether. It prevents drink driving or getting a DUI charge. You can also use BACtrack’s ZeroLine technology through smartphone breathalysers like the Mobile Pro. The ZeroLine technology quickly estimates how long your BAC level will return to 0.00%. A breathalyser is valuable in monitoring sobriety any time, so you will not get in trouble if there is an alcohol screening test for job. Visit Breathalysers Australia for a wide range of professional breathalysers for personal use.