Why Companies Require a Medical Drug and Alcohol Test for Employment

Workplace testing plays a crucial role when companies try to secure workplace safety and productivity. A medical drug and alcohol test can help reduce workplace hazards and risks by singling out employees that may have alcohol or substance-induced impairments. Accidents and injuries in the workplace are more likely to happen with the adverse effects of drug and alcohol consumption. Employees with these effects can present with impaired judgement, poor coordination, loss of memory, behavioural issues, and slowed reaction times. These impairments can drastically affect an employee’s ability to perform effectively and safely within the workplace. Workers under the influence can even struggle to complete tasks they are used to, like operating vehicles and heavy machinery. Therefore, workplace alcohol and drug test results are significant for employers looking to improve their company.

Nowadays, companies would perform medical drug and alcohol tests more regularly. Safety-critical industries rely heavily on accurate and reliable tests to maintain a smooth workflow. There are plenty of reasons why companies elect to perform regular tests despite paying extra. Moreover, companies worldwide are willing to hire accredited testing services and purchase devices because of the benefits of workplace testing. These testing services and workplace devices (like the breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia) can drastically help reduce accidents. Accident reduction in workplaces can help:

  • Reduce yearly healthcare costs
  • Reduce yearly accident compensation costs
  • Maintain productivity by preventing disruptions
  • Reduce the expenses from damaged equipment
  • Reduce the costs coming from damaged products

Medical Drug and Alcohol Test for Employment

Aside from employee testing within the workplace, employers would also require a medical drug and alcohol test for employment. Pre-employment tests are standard in all industries. These tests can ensure companies are not hiring employees that could endanger their current workforce. Moreover, these tests can ascertain employers that they are not hiring applicants that may have potentially dangerous habits (like constant alcohol or drug consumption). Negative alcohol and drug test results are now as important as an applicant’s credentials, skills, and experience during pre-employment. Furthermore, it is worth noting that these unhealthy habits can cause high absenteeism, low productivity rates, and poor customer service. These issues can also cause a ripple effect on other employees. For example, lacking one team member could mean more work for others.

During a medical drug and alcohol test for employment, applicants should expect a urine test (mainly for drugs) and a breathalyser breath test (for alcohol). Moreover, workers in safety-critical industries should get used to using workplace breathalysers. Nowadays, companies worldwide take advantage of workplace breathalysers, like those on Breathalysers Australia, to provide more frequent and consistent alcohol tests. Furthermore, some even offer alcohol tests almost daily. This method can ensure employers that their employees are fit to work. Undoubtedly, taking extra precautions, especially towards alcohol and drug prevention, is the best strategy for improving workplace safety.


Medical Drug and Alcohol Tests: Procedures

Alcohol screening during a medical drug and alcohol test is straightforward. More often than not, companies and even accredited testing services would commonly use breathalysers to test for breath alcohol content. Through breath samples, breathalysers can estimate an employee’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The BAC is the amount of alcohol (in grams) present in every 100ml of blood. BAC readings can determine the level of alcohol intoxication and roughly estimate the amount of alcohol consumed. The BAC is directly proportional to alcohol intake, meaning the more you consume, the higher your BAC gets. During an alcohol test for employment, a BAC of more than 0.00% will be considered a positive test. Moreover, companies can use the workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia to constantly monitor their employees.

On the other hand, drug screenings during a workplace medical drug and alcohol test require the help of testing services in most cases. Certified sample collectors may be needed to prevent sample tampering. However, it is essential to note that companies can also buy urine and saliva tests kits and provide tests independently. Furthermore, just like the breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia, some drug tests kits can be easy to use. Employees would only need to place their samples (either urine or saliva) into a container with a solution inside. This solution would then change colour if the test were to show up as positive. In most test kits, results with no colour change can mean negative.

Medical Drug and Alcohol Tests: Long-term Benefits for Companies

Constantly performing a medical drug and alcohol test can benefit companies drastically in the long term. Keeping an employee safe and feeling secure within the workplace can drastically improve employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees are more likely to stay and perform better. Furthermore, employee satisfaction can significantly affect turnover rates and employee productivity. Moreover, having satisfied employees can also help companies keep their long-term experienced workers within the company. This can save the company a lot of money by not needing to train more workers. Additionally, employee satisfaction can also help improve customer services, which can also help improve customer return rates.


When Can Employers Provide Tests

Aside from a medical drug and alcohol test for pre-employment, employers can also provide tests for various reasons. These reasons should all be typically present in a workplace policy. Employees sign and agree to these policies upon getting hired, allowing employers to test their workforce in most cases legally. These policies state that employers can test their employees during:

  • Random testing: An unannounced test and can be at any time. This form of testing can help catch employees trying to hide their usage.
  • Post-accident/incident testing: A test provided to check if alcohol or drugs were involved in a specific workplace accident. This form of testing can help the company decide the next course of action after an accident.
  • Targeted or “For cause” testing: Targets a specific employee that employers suspect of alcohol and drug use.
  • Blanket testing: A procedure that tests all the employees in the company.
  • Post-positive testing: A test required for employees returning to work after positive testing. This test can help ensure that the returning employees are fit to work.

Breath Tests during Workplace Testing

Breath tests are quick to perform and reliable. Even law enforcers and medical professionals highly rely on breath tests. These tests can help police officers and healthcare providers maintain safer roads and provide adequate medical prescriptions. Companies can rely on the BACtrack workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia to give highly accurate alcohol tests during a workplace medical drug and alcohol test. Moreover, it is worth noting that these breathalysers feature fuel cell sensors. These are the same sensors you would find in a police officer’s breathalyser. Additionally, fuel cell sensors are sensitive to only ethyl alcohol, ensuring users that false-positive results are less likely. Furthermore, these workplace breathalysers are quick and easy to use. It takes 10 to 15 seconds for a BACtrack breathalyser to process your BAC results. These devices also feature one-button operations, allowing users to start a breath test with just a push of a button.