Blood Alcohol Test for Employment using a Breathalyser

Alcohol use is widespread across all industries, with many people consuming it at least once a week. Unfortunately, the effects of alcohol use do not end after consumption. Many people take alcohol and report for work the next day with the aftereffects. Heavy intake puts people at risk, especially in health and safety. In addition, alcohol impairment at work is the leading cause of injuries, costing billions of dollars each year. Therefore, more companies have incorporated a blood alcohol test for employment to reduce the number of workplace incidents. Although some people think it is a sensitive matter, alcohol testing is vital to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Alcohol is a depressant substance that affects the nervous system and the body’s normal functions. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to many adverse health consequences. For example, high alcohol levels can damage the liver, develop cancer, stroke, and many heart diseases. In addition, the short-term effects of alcohol can impair a person’s senses, perception and motor functions. Therefore, a person with a high Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) can poses significant safety risks while working. Moreover, a blood alcohol test for employment can identify alcohol use and prevent workplace accidents. It keeps people from working where they can put themselves and others in danger. Workplaces report a notable reduction in casualties and downtime after implementing an alcohol program. 

Alcohol Effects and the BAC

Alcohol in moderation produces pleasing effects that can relax or arouse the person. During the early stages of consumption, alcohol triggers dopamine release in the brain, which is linked with pleasure. As a result, a high to medium alcohol concentration creates a mild euphoric feeling. However, it severely impairs the normal ability to function at higher doses. A blood alcohol test for employment using a breathalyser can reveal the approximate degree of impairment. A breathalyser device like BACtrack uses sensing technology to measure the BAC level through the breath sample. Therefore, you can determine intoxication by analysing alcohol concentration in the breath. In general, different BAC levels have corresponding effects on the body.

  • 0.02-0.039% – Slight euphoria and relaxation
  • 0.04-0.059% – Lowered inhibition and some minor impairment of judgment and memory.
  • 0.06-0.099% – Slight impairment of balance, speech, vision, hearing, and reaction time; impaired reasoning, memory, and coordination
  • 0.10-0.129% – Significant impairment of motor functions, blurred vision, and loss of balance
  • 0.130 and higher – Gross motor impairment, mental confusion, and lack of self-control. 


Alcohol and its Impact on the Workplace

Intoxication occurs when the intake is greater than the body’s ability to break down alcohol. In particular, when alcohol enters the body, it is not digested like food. Instead, small portions pass to the small intestines and the bloodstream, ending up in different organs within minutes. Meanwhile, 90% goes to the liver, which is metabolised at a fixed rate per hour. Depending on the amount taken, alcohol can stay in the system for up to 12 to 24 hours. For instance, an employee who consumed alcohol the night before can work the next day intoxicated. A blood alcohol test for employment using a breathalyser helps monitor the alcohol level at any time.

Impairment, no matter how small, can compromise workplace safety. Alcohol reduces the ability to manage tasks effectively. Specifically, it affects the alertness level, coordination, balance, and reaction time essential in operating heavy pieces of equipment. In most cases, not conducting a blood alcohol test for employment has higher casualties than those who do. Furthermore, prevailing alcohol use has negative impacts on overall output and productivity. Alcohol intoxication leads to poor decision-making, affecting work quality and safety and increasing absenteeism rates. It also causes the person to display rude, aggressive, or risky behaviour leading to strained work relationships with colleagues. Using a BACtrack breathalyser can quickly screen alcohol and pull out employees with BAC before they cause any harm.  

Blood Alcohol Test for Employment: Benefits

Conducting a consistent blood alcohol test for employment can significantly reduce preventable hazards or injuries. Using a breathalyser is a cost-efficient method to monitor the alcohol level at work. In particular, most BACtrack breathalysers use fuel cell sensors to measure the BAC accurately. Fuel cell breathalysers work by oxidising alcohol in the breath to produce small amounts of electrical currents. The strength or number of currents depends on the alcohol concentration, translated to BAC. Fuel cell sensors are sensitive to ethanol and do not react with other endogenous substances like acetone. Therefore, they are least likely to produce false positives. Breathalysers Australia provides reliable devices for accurate BAC results. Additionally, testing employees for alcohol have the following benefits: 

  • Monitor sobriety
  • Minimise accidents
  • Lower healthcare costs
  • Improved productivity rate
  • Deter alcohol use
  • Boost employee morale
  • Promote healthier practices


Blood Alcohol Test for Employment: Policies

A comprehensive alcohol program can deter alcohol use in the long run and stabilise the workforce. If you are experiencing alcohol misuse in your organisation, it is about time to set up workplace policy. An effective workplace policy enables the company to manage safety risks efficiently. For example, safety-critical and regulated industries have zero-alcohol tolerance. It means that workers must not have any alcohol in their blood while at work. In addition, an alcohol policy should assist affected employees by referring them to a treatment facility. Furthermore, the employer is responsible for maintaining a safe and healthy working environment by reducing preventable hazards. Therefore, conducting a blood alcohol test for employment allows the company to manage risk and mitigate legal liabilities. 

Blood Alcohol Test for Employment: BACtrack Breathalysers

A blood alcohol test for employment using a breathalyser is a non-invasive way to measure the alcohol content. In particular, operating the BACtrack breathalysers is easy. Additionally, most BACtrack breathalysers have a one-touch system for quick and convenient tests. To use the device, simply press the power button to activate and warm up the sensors. Then, take a deep breath as the device counts down to zero. Upon the signal, give a continuous blow to the mouthpiece until you hear the end of the beep. Finally, the sensors process the breath sample and display your BAC results in 10 to 15 seconds. 

For employees, using a personal breathalyser to check your BAC helps you moderate your alcohol consumption. It is also helpful in monitoring if your BAC is within Australia’s legal limit (0.05% BAC). A personal breathalyser like BACtrack helps you gauge your alcohol intake to keep you safe from the perils of drink driving. In addition, breathalysers can help estimate your sobriety so you can safely report for work the next day. Breathalysers Australia has a wide range of alcohol testers suitable for personal or professional use. A blood alcohol test for employment empowers the organisation and the individuals to make safe and informed choices. For workplace use, check the BACtrack professional devices at Breathalysers Australia. Professional breathalysers use Xtend fuel cell sensor technology for the most accurate alcohol breath test.