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Onsite Drug & Alcohol Testing: Overview and Advantages

17 October, 2023

Employees working in a safe and free office

Workplace safety is one of the factors contributing to the company’s success. Hence, it is vital for an employer to conduct measures to avoid any potential harm to employees. The use of substances is common nowadays, thus, onsite drug & alcohol testing plays a crucial role. Accordingly, the assessment offers a lot of advantages. These include reducing potential dangers and accidents, maximising work performance, contributing to the company, and avoiding harm to other employees.

The use of alcohol and drugs can severely impact how a person performs. This affects an individual as this can lead to poor decision-making, low cognitive functions, and emotional instability. As a result, the work performance and productivity of a person may not be fulfilling and may cause other risks. Nevertheless, a testing process is important to manage any negative effects. This article will present what onsite testing is, including its advantages and the methods used.

What is an Onsite Drug & Alcohol Testing

Onsite drug & alcohol testing is a technique to identify applicants or employees for the presence of illicit substances. This assesses if a certain individual has excessive drinking habits or the use of illegal drugs. Employers usually conduct this process to make sure that the worker will not affect the overall performance of the company. It takes place near the work site or premises through a mobile laboratory.

Substance abuse affects people in numerous ways. It can cause a person to lose control, impair judgment, and decrease productivity. This has potential adverse effects as it can influence the company and lead to accidents or injuries. With the testing, it enables the organisation to monitor if a person is safe to perform a task.

The testing is vital for a safe workplace. For instance, impairment can put great risks for jobs involving the operation of heavy equipment or handling sensitive duties. Therefore, assessment is necessary for employers to take appropriate measures and determine if the person is not impaired and can do the job.

Workplace Policy

workplace policy ensures fair substance testing for all employees. Some guidelines are:

  • The organisation strictly prohibits the use of illicit substances such as alcohol and drugs.
  • This company implements substance testing, which can be random or systematic.
  • There is training and education about the use of drugs and alcohol and what it can do to the body.
  • Testing methods can be in different forms, depending on the situation.
  • The company acknowledges that substance use disorder is a treatable condition.
  • For positive results, the organisation can provide support and resources to address the issue and for recovery.
  • The procedure is upheld with confidentiality.

Employees productively working in an office

The Advantages of Onsite Drug & Alcohol Testing

There are many advantages that onsite drug & alcohol testing offers to contribute to a safe workplace. One of its benefits is to promote a secure and attentive organisation. Identifying an intoxicated employee reduces the risks of any accidents, damages, injuries, or harm to other workers. Also, the testing can ensure that the person is capable of doing job responsibilities. This increases productivity and contributes to the success of the company.

In addition, workplace testing portrays that the company prioritises the safety of workers and professionalism. This impacts the organisation by giving a good image to other people, especially stakeholders and potential investors. The procedure can also affirm the company conforms to the legal laws with regard to drug and alcohol abuse.

The drug and alcohol testing enables the worker and the management to determine any substance abuse. Thus, it is helpful to the employer to give early intervention with illicit use. The organisation can provide support, assistance, and recovery for the worker who has a substance use disorder. This is also vital for the worker to reflect and change their lifestyle.

Potential Drawbacks

While substance testing has many benefits, it is vital to consider the potential drawbacks of having it. Firstly, some employees may view the assessment as an invasion of privacy rights. Secondly, the implementation of the policy can bring gaps in the relationship between the employee and employer. Therefore, it reduces trust and may affect job duties.

Also, doing the test can cost the company and can consume time and effort. This involves the purchase of test kits, employing professionals, and laboratories. Additionally, the result of the test may affect the job of the employee, such as suspension or termination.

Pills covering a drug test result form

Methods for Onsite Drug & Alcohol Testing

Organisations can choose different methods to conduct the onsite drug & alcohol testing. One common method is saliva testing. This approach involves the collection of oral fluid in the mouth with the use of a swab. The process is non-invasive, and it can monitor recent substance use. Another means is the urine testing. It collects urine samples where a professional can detect a wide range of substances.

Blood testing is the most accurate and reliable evaluation method. It can give detailed information on the amounts of alcohol or drugs in the system. Consequently, it can monitor substances for several hours. Hair testing can also be used. It can detect substances for up to three months; however, this is expensive.

For evaluating alcohol use, employers can utilise a breathalyser device for a breath test. This estimates the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level, which identifies if a person is intoxicated. It is the most non-invasive procedure for monitoring alcohol, and it can give a quick result.

How to Handle Positive Results

Employers must handle employees who have positive results carefully. Firstly, the management must make sure that the test is accurate and reliable. Secondly, the employer should inform the worker with confidentiality. Then, follow the conditions of the policy, such as the consequences of failed test results. This is to ensure that the testing is based on the guidelines.

It is important for employers to provide the necessary support and resources. This can include rehabilitation programs, counselling, and medical treatments. As such, this is to make sure that the employee will recover. Also, ensure the documentation of the whole process for clarity and consistency.

Conclusion

Onsite drug & alcohol testing is a reliable method for ensuring a safe and protected working environment. This enables employers to monitor and identify workers who have substance use disorder and take necessary measures. Accordingly, this can reduce the potential risks of accidents, injuries, and harm to other employees. Correspondingly, it provides advantages to the company. This can increase working performance and the professionalism of the organisation.

In conducting the test, employers can choose from different assessment methods. This can be saliva, urine, blood, or hair testing, and a breathalyser for alcohol use. Nevertheless, both employer and employee should have an agreed policy in the testing. These guidelines will ensure the procedure is proper and does not infringe on privacy rights. Also, employers should know the limitations of testing. Additionally, they must recognise how to handle a positive result to help employees recover.

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