Sobriety in the workplace is essential for maintaining the utmost safety and productivity. Alcohol misuse and intoxication in the workplace can often disrupt regular operations and pose safety risks. Additionally, alcohol-related incidents lead to a drastic loss of productivity. That is why many employers seek to establish a well-grounded framework to minimise the detrimental effects of substance impairment. Nowadays, workplaces conduct random breath tests to ensure alcohol does not hamper performance. Employers use a workplace breathalyzer to determine employee Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or intoxication levels. Breath testing is the most common method because it is a safe, non-invasive and quick test.
Not all companies need to conduct an alcohol test at work. However, breath tests are essential in specific industries such as mining, construction, medicine, or transportation that highly require safety. Intoxication in the workplace causes poor concentration, judgment, and issues with coordination. Most accidents or unintentional injuries can happen because of employees with high BAC levels. Fortunately, these incidents are preventable through a workplace policy. Employers implement a zero-tolerance approach to keep the workplace alcohol-free. One of the cost-effective measures to monitor sobriety is using a workplace breathalyzer like BACtrack. Breathalysers Australia offers reliable breath tests through their professional-grade workplace alcohol testers.
Reasons for Using a Workplace Breathalyzer
A significant portion of the population consumes alcohol at least once a week. However, a high alcohol concentration can lead to severe impairments in the senses, motor skills, balance, and reasoning. Additionally, it can affect vision, hearing, speech, reaction times (slows down), and coordination. Thus, employers must ensure to manage all safety risks that can negatively impact the well-being of all personnel. Alcohol testing through a workplace policy is a proactive measure to protect the business and its employees and reduce occupational hazards. Moreover, alcohol testing can be efficient through a workplace breathalyzer. It is a device that measures the BAC through the employee’s sample breath. Using a breathalyzer can be beneficial in many ways:
- Securing employee safety
- Improving productivity and output
- Reducing overall costs
- Decreasing absenteeism and turnover rates
- Minimising casualties or injuries
- Reducing liabilities
- Protecting the integrity of the company
The Workplace Alcohol Policy
The workplace policy is an essential program to manage risks effectively. However, introducing an alcohol policy can be challenging. It needs to consider the welfare of both sides, the employer and employees. For example, it should cover the guidelines of what is acceptable and not regarding alcohol use. The alcohol limit will depend on the nature of the job (if it is high-risk or low-risk). Moreover, enforcing alcohol policies need to consider when to conduct an alcohol test and the measures used. For example, when to use workplace breathalyzer to check if an employee is fit to work.
A workplace breathalyzer is an excellent screening device for detecting alcohol. Using a breathalyzer can effectively keep the working environment safe and healthy. The most common instances for conducting alcohol tests are:
- Pre-employment – Determine if a prospective employee has harmful alcohol behaviour that can impact workplace safety.
- Random on-site – Enhance safety compliance by sudden or unannounced testing of a random staff sample.
- Post-incident – Identify the contributing factor leading to the accident or injuries.
- Reasonable cause – Evaluate a person showing symptoms of impairment that may cause harm at work.
- Follow-up/post-treatment – Returning employees with previous non-negative test results need to pass a new alcohol test to be fit to work.
Accuracy of a Workplace Breathalyzer
A workplace breathalyzer detects alcohol (exposure) in the system. During consumption, alcohol travels to different body parts, including the lungs. Portions of alcohol exit the body through the breath, urine, oral fluid, or sweat. Additionally, depending on the intake amount, alcohol stays until the body completely metabolise them. The body burn-off alcohol at a fixed amount per hour. Therefore, alcohol can stay in the system for about 12 to 24 hours from the last consumption. A breathalyzer can trace alcohol use and estimate the BAC within that time frame. The higher the BAC, the greater the degree of intoxication. Moreover, the workplace breathalyzers from Breathalysers Australia use the same technology used by police officers in roadside screening.
The breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia utilises powerful fuel cell sensors to measure the BAC accurately. Fuel cell sensors work by undergoing an electrochemical process when it reacts with alcohol in the breath. The oxidisation produces small electrical currents based on the volume of alcohol and converts it to BAC. A fuel cell breathalyzer is specific to ethanol and does not react with other substances. Therefore, it can give the highest reliability for a breath testing device. Importantly, a workplace breathalyzer must meet the Australian Standards AS3547. It is a certification indicating the unit can provide high-level quality and accuracy in breath alcohol testing. Lastly, all breathalyzers require periodic calibration to maintain consistency, especially for high-compliance environments.
How to Use a Breathalyzer
Operating a workplace breathalyzer is one of the most convenient ways to screen for alcohol. Unlike other testing methods like urine or blood sampling, giving a sample breath is non-invasive. Instead, the device has a mouthpiece to catch the exhaled breath and process it through the sensors. In particular, the breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia have highly effective breath capture systems for precise breath sample collection. Additionally, the BACtrack devices have one-touch button operations, allowing breath tests to be quick and easy. By pressing the “Power-On” button, the sensors warm up immediately. Next, take a deep breath and give a long blow when the countdown timer reaches zero. Theses breathalyzers can analyse the sample and deliver the results within 10 to 15 seconds. If alcohol is present, it will display the exact BAC amount.
Breathalysers Australia: Best Workplace Breathalyzers
Breathalysers Australia provides dependable BAC tests to many individuals and working sectors nationwide. The robust selection of pro-grade breathalyzers is suitable for many workplace testing needs. The BACtrack workplace breathalyzer has FDA approval to be an effective breath screening device. You may select the following units based on your workplace’s particular needs:
- Mobile Gen2 – The breathalyser connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The Mobile Pro Gen2 is specially modified for remote workplace alcohol testing and compliance.
- S80 Pro Gen2 – Features an industrial-grade fuel cell sensor with enhanced linear accuracy. It is an excellent device for commercial use with medium or random testing requirements.
- Alcovisor Mercury – A state-of-the-art breathalyzer suitable for high compliance environments. The platinum electrochemical sensors give an exceptional level of accuracy. Furthermore, it has dual-function for alcohol screening and breath testing for efficient use.
Alcohol use or impairment can happen across all industries. Moreover, accidents can happen at anytime. Therefore, a workplace breathalyzer is vital to maintaining a safe, healthy, and productive working environment where safety is ensured. Companies with an effective alcohol policy have significantly fewer workplace accidents. The BACtrack breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia are efficient BAC monitoring tools that can help protect the welfare of employees and the general public.