Pre Employment Alcohol Screening: Programs and Procedures

Alcohol screening plays a vital role in workplace safety and risk management. Employers rely on these tests to help ensure that all their employees are fit to work. Alcohol use is one of the leading causes of accidents in workplaces in Australia. Consuming alcohol can cause impairments that can drastically affect one’s ability to perform well in work. Consumption can cause memory loss, slower reactions times, coordination impairments, and restlessness. These impairments can drastically affect your ability to operate heavy machinery or drive vehicles and affect workplace safety. Furthermore, these impairments are the main reasons why companies and employers apply a zero-tolerance alcohol policy in their workplaces. Preventing alcohol use during work can help minimise health hazards in the workplace. To help avoid hiring a potentially dangerous employee, employers would perform a pre employment alcohol screening test on applicants.

It is the company’s and employer’s duty to ensure the safety of its employees and customers. A negative pre employment alcohol screening test can indicate that there has been no alcohol intake in the last 24 to 48 hours. Moreover, this method can help show that the applicant is not struggling with alcohol usage. Behaviour and habits are as important as skill and credentials because even a well-qualified employee can endanger the workplace when under the influence of alcohol. Employers need to find a fine ground between hiring a qualified employee that is less likely to endanger others. Employers can use BACtrack workplace breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia for workplace testing.

Pre Employment Alcohol Screening Test Requirements

Nowadays, most workplaces have a zero-tolerance alcohol policy and program. This program can help maintain safety in workplaces and reduce workplace hazards. Furthermore, applicants need to maintain a 0.00% Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level when taking a pre employment alcohol screening test. Only a 0.00% BAC is allowed to pass the pre employment test. Anything higher than that will make companies with a zero-tolerance policy reject the applicant. Companies would also provide educational programs as a formality once they hire the applicant. These educational programs inform new employees on the risks of alcohol usage in their workplace. The company would also teach new employees to spot and report potentially dangerous employees. Alcohol prevention programs can play a crucial role in accident and risk prevention in the workplace.


Pre Employment Alcohol Screening: Procedures

Highly reliable testing services and devices are now available for on-site testing. Once the company approves the applicant, they will be given a pre employment alcohol screening test as the last step before hiring. The testing services would usually provide urine sampling to test for alcohol and drug usage. This test can identify drug and alcohol usage in 24 to 48 hours. Companies could also use a BACtrack workplace breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia to test for alcohol for a less complicated approach. It is now common for companies to perform breath tests regularly on their employees before and after hiring. Furthermore, having a workplace breathalyser can negate the costs of needing to require testing services constantly. Employees can provide their breath samples directly to the breathalyser device, and it would also process the results.

Providing a pre employment alcohol screening test and tests even after hiring the applicant can drastically help the company. Reducing potential risks in the workplace can help employees feel safer. Furthermore, the more comfortable employees are, the more likely they are less stressed and more productive. Having the employee feel at ease in the workplace can also help improve employee job satisfaction. Employees satisfied with their jobs tend to perform better and can further help improve a company in the long run. Alcohol screening tests can also help reduce annual costs coming from:

  • Employee injury (healthcare and compensation costs)
  • Loss of productivity
  • Damaged company machinery
  • Product Damage
  • Faulty Products

Pre Employment Alcohol Screening: Policies

After a negative pre employment alcohol screening test, the company can hire the applicant immediately. Upon hiring, the employer must discuss the workplace drug and alcohol usage policy. Furthermore, the company should ensure that they are fully transparent with their policies and that all employees know them. Moreover, employers and employees would also need to sign a formal agreement on workplace policies. To maintain the legality of workplace testing, employers need to ensure that they have their employee’s consent. Nowadays, especially in safety-critical industries, it is within company policies that refusal to take a test can be grounds for termination. Workplace policies can also help protect employees’ rights. The guidelines also state that testing positive cannot directly cause a termination. Employees can be given a second chance to get re-tested after their suspension. The policies also protect the employees’ privacy on their results.


Other Grounds for Alcohol and Drug Testing

Aside from pre employment alcohol screening, there are also plenty of other reasons companies provide alcohol and drug tests. Furthermore, companies perform these tests to help maintain workplace safety and prevent workplace hazards. With the help of certified testing services and devices like the BACtrack workplace breathalyser from Breathalysers Australia, companies would provide:

  • Random testing: Testing that is unannounced and regularly for a set of random employees. This kind of testing can effectively help single out individuals using alcohol or drugs in the workplace.
  • Blanket testing: All employees within an organisation are tested.
  • ‘For cause’ or targeted testing: An employer has the right to test employees that are acting suspicious (weird, altered, or dangerous behaviour). However, the employer must make sure that they have sufficient evidence.
  • Post-accident/incident testing: It is the employer’s duty to check if drugs or alcohol have contributed to a recent workplace accident. This test can also help inform the company if they need to perform tests on other employees.
  • Post-positive result testing: This form of testing is for employees that have tested positive before. Employees must test negative before returning to work.
  • Rehabilitation testing: For employees undergoing or may have recently completed rehabilitation. Moreover, this test can help ensure that the employee is no longer struggling with alcohol.

Who Requires Constant Testing

Some industries require pre employment alcohol screening tests and regular alcohol and drug tests more than others. These are the kinds of workplaces with heavy machinery and vehicles around them. One employee under the influence can drastically endanger everyone else. When looking for a job, you can expect more tests in industries like:

  • Transportation (land, sea, and air)
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Production Factories

Why Use BACtrack Workplace Breathalysers

Breath tests with a BACtrack workplace breathalyser are reliable, accurate, and quick. It only takes 10 to 15 seconds for a BACtrack device to process your BAC results. Furthermore, BACtrack breathalysers use fuel cell sensors. Fuel cell sensors are only sensitive to ethyl alcohol, which means these sensors are less likely to provide you with false-positive results. These sensors will not get affected by low-calorie diets and diabetes. Moreover, these are also the same sensors you would find in a police officer’s breathalyser. BACtrack workplace breathalysers can make pre employment alcohol screening and other alcohol tests more convenient.