On Site Alcohol Testing – What It Is, Types, and Results
07 November, 2023
Substance use testing is crucial for high-risk industries to maintain safety within the workplace. On-site alcohol testing means conducting tests in convenient locations, such as the workplace or event areas. Some of the types of tests used in onsite testing are breath, saliva, and urine tests. A non-negative or positive result may indicate intoxication in the workplace. However, organisations may conduct laboratory confirmatory testing to verify these results.
There are several benefits to conducting testing within the organisations. Foremost, it helps identify those with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). This allows early prevention and provides support towards rehabilitation. Additionally, it improves productivity and reduces absenteeism and tardiness. It also helps high-risk industries identify which applicants are unfit for safety-critical roles. Moreover, it lessens the risks of accidents occurring. This article will present what on-site ethanol testing is, the types of tests used, and how to understand the results.
What is On-Site Alcohol Testing
On-site alcohol testing refers to conducting alcohol screening in a specific location. Such locations may include workplace or event venues. This typically occurs in workplaces, schools, and other settings where liquor intake may pose a safety risk. It promotes safety within the community and lessens the chances of accidents occurring.
On-site tests are often done in convenient locations rather than in laboratories or medical facilities. Employers may contact alcohol testing services to conduct this type of testing. The testing services will provide a team of qualified collectors to ensure the accuracy of tests. Typically, these are done using alcohol-testing devices. These remove the additional time cost of sending samples for laboratory testing.
Companies conduct these tests to ensure workplace safety. This is especially true in high-risk industries like mining, construction, and transportation. There are many advantages to conducting ethanol screenings. It enables them to enforce the necessary disciplinary measures to maintain a safe workplace. Moreover, it helps them identify people suffering from AUD. This helps them identify liquor-related issues promptly and provide the necessary support.
There are many advantages of conducting liquor testing in the workplace. Here are some of them:
- On-site screenings are quick and convenient. They also provide reliable and accurate results.
- Alcohol screening programs help reduce absenteeism and tardiness due to liquor-related problems among workers.
- Random testing deters excessive and irresponsible liquor intake among employees.
- A comprehensive alcohol policy promotes productivity and safety in the workplace. It also helps mitigate legal risks.
- Ethanol screenings may improve workplace relationships by preventing alcohol misuse.
- Post-incident ethanol screenings help determine the cause of the accident.
- Pre-employment testing enables companies to identify applicants prone to reckless behaviours.
Types of Tests Used in On-Site Alcohol Testing
Organisations may choose among several accurate testing methods used during on-site alcohol testing. Urine testing is considered the standard method for alcohol screenings. It uses urine samples to detect traces of ethanol consumed within 24 hours. For longer detection windows, people may use ethyl glucuronide (EtG) tests. This test may find traces of liquor for up to 80 hours.
Saliva testing is another screening method commonly used in on-site tests. The saliva collection procedure entails using a swab stick to collect saliva samples from under the tongue or inside the cheek. Mouth swab screens may find traces of ethanol for up to 12 hours.
A breath alcohol test measures the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels of an individual. This is done using alcohol breathalysers that analyse the breath samples provided by the individual. It may detect liquor intake for up to 24 hours. Additionally, alcohol breath screenings may provide results within a few minutes. Furthermore, it is the most non-invasive procedure for detecting alcohol consumption.
How Using a Breathalyser Helps in the Workplace
Using a breathalyser in the workplace may provide several benefits. It may help ensure the safety of employees by quickly identifying intoxicated individuals. This may prevent accidents from occurring if their position involves driving or operating heavy machinery. Additionally, these tests may emphasise the commitment of the employer to ensuring safety.
Moreover, using breathalysers encourages workers to limit their liquor intake or even deter them from using it. This may help them avoid the adverse effects of the overconsumption of liquor. These effects include increased risks of heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and several types of cancers.
Understanding the Results of On-Site Alcohol Testing
On-site alcohol testing is a crucial tool for ensuring safety and compliance in various high-risk industries. Understanding the results of these screenings is vital for making informed decisions regarding the ability of the employee to do their tasks. On-site test results mostly produce immediate results. A positive or non-negative result may indicate intoxication during hours.
However, organisations may allow confirmatory testing to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results. Some factors may cause false positives or non-negatives. Confirmatory testing may involve further testing of the previous sample in a laboratory setting or a separate test with lengthy detection windows. Blood and hair follicle tests are commonly used to detect histories of substance use.
If reports of the laboratory confirmatory testing also show positive results, employees may face disciplinary action. This may include warnings, suspensions, or termination, depending on the alcohol testing policy. In addition, there may also be legal repercussions depending on the relevant laws and regulations. Regardless, a company must ensure the confidentiality of the results to protect the privacy of the employee.
Factors that May Cause False Non-negatives
Several factors may cause false non-negatives. Foremost, these tests are not 100% accurate. Individual factors may affect the duration of ethanol in the body. This includes age, gender, body type, and health condition. In addition, secondhand exposure or use of products with ethanol may produce false positive results.
Furthermore, sample contamination and tampering may cause false positive test results. This is why it is vital to contact reliable alcohol screening services. An experienced team of collectors who follow strict protocols may reduce the likelihood of false positive results. This will prevent people from experiencing undeserved repercussions.
On-site alcohol testing plays a vital role in ensuring safety within the community. It enables high-risk industries to quickly determine if their employees are fit to do their jobs. Unlike laboratory testing, these may provide results within minutes. Breath, saliva, and urine tests are the common methods for on-site testing. Employees may face disciplinary action upon receiving a non-negative result. However, they may opt for confirmatory testing to prove the initial screen provided a false positive result.
Several factors may cause false non-negative results. This includes individual factors, such as age, gender, and health condition. In addition, sample contamination and tampering may produce false positive results. Thus, it is crucial to use reliable testing services and devices for accurate and reliable reports. Disciplinary action may range from warnings to termination, depending on the agreed workplace policy. Workplace breathalysers are available in Breathalysers Australia.