Many factors can affect health and safety at work. The physical environment, equipment, and coworkers can impact an employee’s well-being in the workplace. Employers must provide a secure environment by managing all preventable occupational hazards. Unfortunately, certain risks can still exist despite preventive measures. Alcohol and substance use can be one of them. Alcohol use becomes a health and safety hazard when a person’s ability is impaired. For example, intoxication can affect vision, hearing, coordination, and mental alertness needed to perform tasks safely in the workplace. One of the practical methods to manage safety risks is conducting a pre employment alcohol test for job applicants.
When you apply for a job, alcohol screening can be part of the conditions. However, it is a mandatory requirement for safety-critical roles. A pre employment alcohol test can help companies identify candidates with alcohol issues. For example, a person with alcohol use disorder can pose maximum safety risks to all personnel in the workplace. Moreover, most workplace accidents involve employees with high Blood Alcohol Concentrations (BAC). Thus, employers must not only look at skills, credentials or qualifications when hiring an applicant. A person’s alcohol behaviour or consumption pattern is also one of the aspects that employers in high-risk industries consider. Devices like workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia enable companies to determine alcohol usage.
Why Pre Employment Alcohol Test is Important
Alcohol-related incidents drive many organisations to implement workplace testing through an alcohol program. Impairment causes accidents and leads to low productivity, increased absenteeism, and conflict with colleagues. This strengthens the importance of a pre employment alcohol test to pick out the most suitable candidates. Likewise, employers must also ensure that prospective employees are safe and would not behave recklessly. Furthermore, an alcohol program, whether for pre employment or on-the-job, provides the following benefits:
- Enhance safety – Alcohol testing deters alcohol use and promotes healthier practices. Reduced alcohol use leads to a lesser probability of casualties or injuries.
- Reduce overall costs – Workplace accidents cost companies substantial healthcare, compensation, or insurance expenses. Preventing accidents help reduce hospital bills, property damage, or training for new employees due to high turnover rates.
- Improve productivity – a healthy workforce can perform optimally and has lesser downtime.
- Screen employees – Pre employment alcohol test enables employers to screen employees that may potentially harm the workplace.
- Improve employee morale – A safe and healthy environment encourages employees to perform better. Reduced alcohol use also results in lesser conflict or violence.
- Reduce liabilities – Workplace testing help prevents accidents and the legal consequences that may come with it. It also helps employers establish that accidents did not happen because of negligence.
Procedures for Pre Employment Alcohol Test: Kinds of BAC Test
A pre employment alcohol test plays a vital role for managing occupational hazards. First, an organisation must have a working alcohol policy to administer workplace testing. Additionally, an alcohol test is essential for jobs involving the operation of heavy equipment, motor vehicles, or hazardous chemicals. Therefore, if you are applying for safety-sensitive positions, you can expect that alcohol testing is part of the pre employment process. Moreover, there are several options for alcohol screening. An employer may use one or more tests to overview an applicant’s alcohol pattern completely. Companies can conduct workplace testing through:
- Breath – A breathalyser like BACtrack detects alcohol and estimates the person’s BAC level through the sample breath. It is a quick, simple, and non-invasive method for detecting alcohol. Thus, a breath test is a cost-effective option for alcohol screening.
- Urine – Urine analysis can examine alcohol and substance use. A standard urine test can trace alcohol usage for 48 hours and 72 hours for advanced tests like EtG/EtS.
- Oral fluid – Saliva or mouth swab test can detect alcohol or drugs for 24 hours.
- Hair follicle – Hair follicle tests have a longer detection window. A hair test can reveal alcohol use for 7 to 90 days. Therefore, it is a suitable method for determining a person’s consumption pattern.
- Blood – A blood test is the most accurate test type and the most invasive. Thus, they are appropriate for confirming positive results from preliminary screening.
Alcohol Breath Test for Employment: Accuracy
A pre employment alcohol test uses a breathalyser to measure the BAC. Applicants must have a 0.00% BAC result to secure the job. The accuracy and reliability of the workplace device is crucial for employment. Testing centres or companies use breathalysers with fuel cell sensors to give the most precise BAC readings. Fuel cell breathalysers only react with ethanol and do not interfere with other endogenous substances. So, it is less likely to produce false positives, especially for people with diabetes or on a low-calorie diet. Moreover, laboratories or workplace breathalysers have AS 3547 certification, adhering to Australian and international standards. The certification ensures that the breathalysers are effective and reliable breath screening devices.
Pre employment alcohol test using a breathalyser is the most practical way to screen for alcohol in the workplace. The portable workplace breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia enable you to test employees’ BAC conveniently. Moreover, these alcohol testers can process the sample breath within 10 to 15 seconds. The ease of use of these devices allow employers to conduct frequent alcohol testing to monitor safety. Other events that require alcohol tests are after an accident, for-cause testing, and return-to-duty testing. Post-incident tests help determine if alcohol led to the accident. A “for-cause” test is requested for a person showing symptoms of impairment. The timely detection of alcohol is critical for preventing potential accidents or harm. Finally, employees who tested positive must pass a new alcohol test to fit for work.
BACtrack: All-around Breathalysers
The employer’s “duty of care” is to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. Companies can minimise the risks associated with harmful alcohol use through a workplace policy. A pre employment alcohol test is one of the vital strategies in keeping an alcohol-free environment. Likewise, consistent workplace testing on-site can effectively reduce alcohol-related incidents to zero. The BACtrack devices from Breathalysers Australia can help secure many workplaces. Breathalysers Australia has a wide range of alcohol testers suitable for professional or personal use. Additionally, most BACtrack devices use fuel cell sensors with the same pro-grade accuracy found in police breathalysers.
Workplaces report a significant reduction of casualties or serious injuries after introducing an alcohol policy. Likewise, using a reliable device helps in the effective implementation of safety programs such as a pre employment alcohol test. Moreover, individuals can ensure safety by using a personal breathalyser. Personal devices are valuable in moderating alcohol intake and remaining within the allowed limits. For instance, you can use the BACtrack smartphone breathalyser with ZeroLine technology. BACtrack’s ZeroLine technology can quickly estimates when your BAC level will return to 0.00%. Therefore, you can ascertain that you can show up for work the next day or drive home safe and sober.