A significant portion of workplace accidents is due to alcohol intoxication. The prevalence of alcohol use has cost businesses billions of dollars each year in high healthcare costs and accident compensation expenses. When alcohol-related incidents reach an alarming rate, a prevention program can help manage the safety risks. In particular, a drug test for alcohol in employment can minimise the casualties and deter alcohol and substance abuse. A workplace program enables employers to conduct a drug and alcohol test to check the health status of the employees. It is an effective strategy to manage preventable hazards in the workplace and protect the well-being of all employees.
Drug Test for Alcohol Employment: Alcohol Tests
Many people consume alcohol regularly during their free time. However, excessive amounts can bring damaging impacts to individuals and society. Specifically, it can develop adverse health problems and safety issues, especially when driving or working. In the workplace, alcohol use leads to high absenteeism, lower productivity, accidents, and assaults. Changing the alcohol culture can be challenging, but it is vital to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Through a workplace policy, the employer can reduce the safety risks. In addition, a workplace policy guides the implementation of a drug test for alcohol in employment. Therefore, it is crucial to establish comprehensive guidelines that employees can agree and follow.
Occupations in a safety-sensitive role rely on the consistency and accuracy of drug or alcohol testing to prevent accidents. In particular, high-risk industries like mining, construction, transportation, and manufacturing impose a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and drugs. It means that employees should be free of any impairing substances that can cause harm. In addition, employers must ensure to manage all preventable hazards. As such, alcohol-related incidents are one of the avoidable hazards in the workplace. Particularly, alcohol affects the perception and motor functions, necessary in operating equipment. In addition, if a person has a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC), there is an increased risk for injuries. Therefore, a drug test for alcohol in employment also serves as legal compliance to safety.
Drug Test for Alcohol Employment: Advantages of Workplace Testing
As an employer, you can implement a drug test for alcohol in employment provided you have justifiable reasons. However, you must have a comprehensive policy before conducting workplace testing. For example, it includes the direction of when to administer a test, the procedures or methods, and prohibited substances. In addition, a well-designed workplace policy serves the following benefits:
- Improved productivity and output
- Reduced absenteeism and turnover rates
- Decreased accidents and injuries
- Securing workplace safety
- Deter drug and alcohol abuse
- Raise employee and company esteem
Drug Test for Alcohol Employment: Methods
A drug test for alcohol in employment detects the presence of ethanol and metabolites. In particular, after alcohol consumption, it travels throughout the body through the bloodstream. It reaches different body organs and stays there for certain periods until the body completely metabolises them. Therefore, several procedures can detect alcohol exposure, such as breath, urine, oral fluid, hair, and blood sampling. Primarily, a breath test through a breathalyser is the standard method for alcohol screening. A breathalyser is the testing device to measure the BAC or intoxication level. It consists of sensor technology to analyse the alcohol concentration in the breath. Many sectors use reliable devices like the BACtrack workplace testers from Breathalysers Australia to manage safety hazards.
Other screening methods for alcohol are urine, oral fluid, hair, and blood sample tests. Each procedure can trace alcohol for a specific time frame. For example, a breathalyser can detect alcohol for 12 to 24 hours. Likewise, a urine and mouth swab test can identify alcohol use for 24 hours from last consumption. Meanwhile, a hair follicle test can trace alcohol consumption patterns for 90 days. Lastly, alcohol is detectable in the blood for 6 to 12 hours. Therefore, workplaces can use several options to conduct a drug test for alcohol in employment. Depending on your organisation’s specific needs, you can administer a drug and alcohol test through a workplace policy.
Drug Test for Alcohol: Reasons for Testing
An employer can implement a drug test for alcohol in employment under particular circumstances. Firstly, employees should know that they are subject to an alcohol or drug test for reasonable safety reasons. The alcohol program states the objectives, provisions, and consequences of failing a test. In addition, there must be clear communication and agreement between employers and employees for executing a drug test for alcohol. The common grounds for workplace testing are:
- Pre-employment: Employers require a pre-employment test to determine if the job applicant fits the role. It can identify if the applicant has alcohol or substance problems that may compromise workplace safety.
- Post-incident: Testing is essential to confirm if impairing substances contributed to the accident. It can also help employers make safety decisions.
- For-cause: The employer has the right to test a specific employee if they have substantial reasons that the person is impaired. However, the employer must exercise caution to avoid legal problems.
- Blanket: All employees undergo a drug test for alcohol in employment.
- Random: The test is unannounced or for a random set of employees. This test determines if any employee works with alcohol in their system. It can also identify employees who have alcohol use disorder.
- Post-positive: An employee who previously tested positive returns to work must pass a drug or alcohol test.
The employer facilitates a drug test for alcohol in employment through an accredited laboratory. The testing centres in Australia follows strict protocols, ensuring effective and reliable test results. For instance, on-site testing lets the testing centre facilitate a drug and alcohol test within the workplace. The on-site testing allows employees to give specimen samples without disrupting normal operations. In particular, a breath test detects alcohol use. The employee may be pulled out from work or follow up with confirmation through a urine or blood test. Testing centres use a pro-grade breathalyser to estimate the BAC level accurately. Similarly, companies can use a workplace breathalyser like a BACtrack device even without laboratory services.
BACtrack breathalysers for Employment
Maintaining an alcohol-free environment is attainable through an effective program and reliable devices like BACtrack. A BACtrack professional breathalyser helps the workplace manage safety risks more effectively. The BACtrack workplace breathalysers employ enlarged fuel cell sensors that can trace over a complete range of alcohol concentrations. In particular, it detects alcohol from 0.00 up to 0.400% BAC. So, the BACtrack can pick up the precise BAC level even at minimal amounts. In addition, fuel cell breathalysers have the same pro-grade accuracy that police use in a roadside inspection. Therefore, the BACtrack breathalysers are suitable devices for when companies are looking to perform a drug test for alcohol in employment. Furthermore, BACtrack can process the breath sample in 10 to 15 seconds. You can ensure constant safety with a BACtrack breathalyser. You can view different kinds of professional alcohol testers at Breathalysers Australia.