Business owners, corporations, and employers all strive to hire the best possible applicant for their organisation, one who can either work at the same rate or faster than their current staff. Despite their qualifications, a person with a drug or alcohol abuse history can be a risk to a firm due to the likelihood of them being absent or disturbing the workplace with intoxicated behaviour. Employers in Australia are now required to conduct a pre-employment drug test and alcohol test. Also, because of the widespread availability of mobile testing units and portable, easy-to-carry breathalysers, pre-employment testing will always be available.
A pre-employment drug test and alcohol test are at the company’s discretion. It is, nevertheless, required in high-risk industries where safety is paramount, such as mining, aviation, transportation, and construction. Screening applicants for probable substance misuse or disorders is necessary to maintain a healthy and safe atmosphere. Additionally, employees who arrive at work intoxicated or impaired present a danger to themselves and others. Drugs and alcohol can impair motor function, coordination, perception, and reasoning. As a result, being vigilant is essential, mainly when operating a vehicle or heavy machinery. Companies are increasingly doing more frequent breath testing to assist and improve safety. With devices like the BACtrack workplace breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia, alcohol tests are simple and rapid. The easiest and least invasive technique to detect alcohol in the system is through breath testing.
Pre-Employment Drug Test and Alcohol Test Methods
A pre-employment drug test can reveal a job applicant’s substance abuse history. Furthermore, a worker abusing illegal substances can jeopardise their safety and impact their coworkers. Thus, the company should conduct a drug-testing program to ensure workplace safety. Alcohol tests use a breathalyser test. It identifies the presence of alcohol in the blood. In addition, sensor technology is used in breathalysers to analyse alcohol in a breath sample and calculate the BAC.
Meanwhile, methods for a pre-employment drug test are urine, blood, saliva or hair. The most common drug test is a five-panel test that looks for marijuana, PCP, cocaine, opiates, and amphetamines. To detect alcohol and drug usage, any of the following methods are effective:
- Urinalysis – Even after the effects of a drug have worn off. A urine test can reveal signs of its use.
- Hair Testing – Hair follicle testing provides a larger detection window than other procedures. It can detect drug use from up to 90 days ago. It is necessary if you wish to determine a person’s drug use history.
- Oral Fluids – Oral fluid tests detect recent drug usage and have a three-day detection window. A swab within the mouth is used to collect an oral fluid sample.
- Blood Testing – Blood tests are the most accurate but are also the most invasive. A blood test is useful to confirm the results of the initial tests are positive.
Importance of Pre-Employment Drug Test and Alcohol Test
Drug abuse and excessive alcohol consumption have short and long-term health and safety consequences. Essential functions such as vision, hearing, speech, judgment, and mobility are all affected. It poses considerable risks in the workplace. Safety-critical jobs, in particular, rely on the worker’s physical well-being to do tasks safely and effectively. Employers can conduct a pre-employment drug test and alcohol test to see if a candidate is a good fit. Pre-employment testing is also advantageous for the following reasons:
- Determine whether the person has a substance abuse problem early on.
- Introduce the new employee to a safe and healthy working environment.
- Save money on medical bills by avoiding injury claims.
- Enhance workplace security.
- Reduce absenteeism due to substance abuse.
- Reduce your legal risks.
- Boost productivity.
- Reduce accidents.
- Follow government laws and regulations.
Things to Consider in Conducting the Test
The company informs job candidates that a pre-employment drug test and alcohol test are a requirement. Furthermore, drug testing is mandatory if the company’s industry is under high-risk businesses such as mining, construction, transportation, and manufacturing. However, nowadays, most employers will do drug and alcohol tests as part of the employment process. Companies that administer a pre-employment drug test and alcohol test should also follow a set of guidelines, such as:
- Notify applicants about the test ahead of time. Passing the test is required for the job offer.
- Test all applicants for the same post with the same test.
- Choose a testing lab that follows Australian urine, oral fluid, and breathalyser testing standards.
- Obtain written permission. The consent form requests the applicant’s permission to administer drug and alcohol testing.
- Conduct the drug and alcohol test.
The candidate provides a specimen sample to the laboratory technician during the pre-employment drug test. The employer may utilise a urine or saliva test and a breathalyser test for alcohol abuse. In addition, a hair strand test may be required in some circumstances to determine a person’s substance abuse history. An applicant must have a zero drug and alcohol concentration to pass the test. Moreover, if the initial test findings are positive, they are sent to a Medical Review Officer. The MRO would review the patient’s medical history to verify the results. The MRO will record the test as unfavourable if there is a valid medical explanation.
Pre-Employment Drug Test for Alcohol
Drugs are not the only substance to test for when applying for a job; they can also detect alcohol misuse in an applicant. However, the most cost-effective way to test for alcohol is using an alcohol breath test. A breathalyser device takes a sample of exhaled breath through the mouthpiece and analyses it using sensors. Moreover, fuel cell sensors in breathalysers are well-known for their accuracy and consistency. They produce tiny electrical currents by oxidising alcohol in the breath. Furthermore, the amount of electricity produced is related to the amount of alcohol in the breath or blood. Additionally, fuel cell breathalysers are ethanol-specific and do not react with other chemicals such as acetone. As a result, they have the lowest chance of producing false-positive results.
Breathalysers Australia offers BACtrack breathalysers that provide accurate alcohol breath tests to a wide range of businesses and individuals around Australia. The professional BACtrack breathalysers provide unrivalled precision with every BAC test. The BACtrack S80 Pro Gen2 and Mobile Gen2 provide advanced capabilities such as continuous temperature checking to ensure consistent breath samples. The breathalysers offer professional-grade accuracy, similar to what police use in roadside testing. Furthermore, the BACtrack breathalysers process the breath sample in 10 to 15 seconds and provide immediate findings. As a result, breathalysers are a convenient and cost-effective way to monitor alcohol consumption in the workplace. In addition, the fuel cell sensors’ linear response can track a wide range of alcohol concentrations in the breath. Because they can detect low to high BAC values, they are suitable for a pre-employment drug test for alcohol.