Why You Should Drug & Alcohol Test for Employment

Drugs and alcohol use is widespread in many countries and cultures. It is also prevalent across many industries or socio-economic factors. Unfortunately, a portion of the population consumes alcohol more than the recommended amount in a day. High doses of alcohol have short-term and long-term detrimental effects on health and safety. In addition, the misuse of illicit or prescription drugs can also have many negative impacts on the person’s well-being. Drugs, alcohol, or combined use of these substances can pose maximum safety risks while driving or working. Therefore, many companies assimilate a drug alcohol test for employment with risk management strategies. In particular, regulated or high-risk sectors have a zero-tolerance policy to maintain a safe and drug-free environment. However, many private businesses also see the importance of drug and alcohol tests to manage workplace hazards effectively. 

Alcohol is widely consumed worldwide. Excessive consumption on a single occasion or over a period can lead to serious health problems or chronic diseases. In addition, drug use that is not consistent with legal or medical guidelines have an overall negative impact on the body’s normal functions. Mainly, their misuse causes severe impairment in the senses, perceptual and motor abilities. The impairments can cause slower reaction times, poor decision-making, and uncoordinated movements, resulting in unsafe actions. Therefore, a drug alcohol test for employment can serve as a safeguard to protect the workers’ well-being. 

Importance of a Drug and Alcohol Test for Employment

Regulated industries or high-risk sectors implement a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol. For example, worksites like mining, transportation, logistics, healthcare, construction, and manufacturing rely on workplace testing to monitor the employees’ physical conditions.  A minimal amount in the body can lead to accidents and injuries. In particular, companies can conduct a drug alcohol test for employment through workplace prevention programs. A prevention program is a set of strategies and measures to minimise the preventable risks associated with drugs and alcohol use. In addition, consistent tests can help deter alcohol and substance use and promote healthy practices. In general, a drug and alcohol test for employment provides the following benefits:

  • Reduce accidents or injuries
  • Lower healthcare costs and other expenses
  • Reduce liabilities
  • Compliance with federal and state laws
  • Improve productivity and output
  • Reduced absenteeism or tardiness
  • Avoid hiring individuals who pose safety risks
  • Refer employees with substance abuse problems for proper treatment


Kinds of Tests Available

The drug and alcohol test for employment involves screening for illicit substances, alcohol (ethanol), and their metabolites. In addition, employees who abuse prescription drugs are more likely to miss work or produce poor quality or low output. Therefore, conducting workplace testing also prevents poor performance. The standard test methods include taking samples from urine, saliva, blood, or hair for drugs and breath tests for alcohol. In particular, when alcohol or drugs is consumed, they stay in the body for a certain period. The standard methods for drugs and alcohol screening are:

Drug and Alcohol Test for Employment: Breath Alcohol Tests

A breath test through a breathalyser is the most cost-efficient way to detect alcohol in the body. A breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia, uses sensor technology to estimate a person’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). In particular, the BAC indicates the intoxication level or impairment based on the alcohol intake. For instance, the more you consume alcohol, the higher your BAC level is. A drug alcohol test for employment monitors the employees’ alcohol levels to determine if they are fit to work or not. Some people may be under the influence of alcohol but shows no signs of intoxication. However, a minimal amount is still a risk to workplace safety. In line with this, our breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia, have enhanced fuel cell sensors to determine the precise alcohol level even at the lowest concentrations.

Fuel cell breathalysers are the industry’s standards for effective and reliable alcohol breath tests. Breathalysers with fuel cell sensors undergo an electrochemical process to analyse alcohol in the breath sample. In particular, fuel cell sensors oxidises alcohol to create small electrical currents. Then, the number of electrical currents generated are converted into BAC. In 10 to 15 seconds, the BACtrack breathalysers display the BAC results on the screen. In addition, breathalysers can detect alcohol for 12 to 24 hours from last consumption. They also maintain accuracy and consistency longer, even after multiple applications. Therefore, companies can effectively use these devices during a drug and alcohol test for employment.


When to Conduct a Drug and Alcohol Test for Employment

Under specific circumstances, the employer may conduct a drug and alcohol test for employment. A workplace policy should cover the guidelines on when and how to administer the tests. For instance, some employers require a pre-employment test to aid in hiring decisions. In particular, pre-employment tests help determine if a job applicant has a substance use problem that may compromise workplace safety. In addition, the job notice should state that the pre-employment test is part of the application requirements. Likewise, the drug and alcohol test for employment can be scheduled or random. These tests can ensure workplace safety and minimise risks. Companies also perform post-incident (or accident) testing. This test helps identify if substance use contributed to the accident. Lastly, reasonable suspicion testing is done when an employee shows signs of impairment. 

Consumption and impairment of alcohol and other drugs are prohibited if it compromises the safety and well-being of employees. In addition, the drug and alcohol test for employment can trace specific types of substances. For example, the urine test can detect the most used drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and Phencyclidine (PCP). A drug test is positive if the amount of substances equal to or above the cutoff levels. A confirmatory test is necessary to validate the initial results if a test result is positive. The testing centre may facilitate blood sampling or GC-MS tests to get an accurate analysis. In particular, the GC-MS test is the gold standard in precise drug testing. 

BACtrack: The Importance of Breath Tests

Many people consume alcohol regularly. As a result, there is a high probability of intoxication while on duty. A drug and alcohol test for employment can help identify affected employees and not allow them to work, potentially eliminating an unfortunate incidentor accident.. In line with this, a workplace breathalyser is valuable in monitoring alcohol level or sobriety. The BACtrack testers from Breathalysers Australia provide accurate and reliable alcohol breath tests to many individuals and companies nationwide. Our professional breathalysers with fuel cell sensors have police-grade accuracy. It has the same technology used by law enforcement in roadside screenings. Additionally, BACtrack has one-button operations, making it convenient and easy to use. You can use it anytime to check the BAC level at work. Lastly, BACtrack devices also have highly accurate personal devices. So that every time you consume alcohol, you can ascertain that you remain within moderate and safe amounts.