saliva testing

An Employer's Guide For Managing Alcohol Misuse

James Gunter

With regard to the workplace: “An impact assessment paper on minimum pricing calculated lost productivity due to alcohol in the UK, at about £7.3 billion per year. There is also evidence that people in certain professions & occupations are likely to drink more, with a British Medical Association (BMA) survey showing that, on average, those in professional or managerial roles drink more than those in manual occupations” [1]

So How Are Workplaces Managing the Alcohol Issue? 

The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development's 'Drug and Alcohol Misuse Survey' indicates that around 77% of organisations have an explicit alcohol policy; and close to half of organisations (51%), have a disciplinary procedure for alcohol-related issues/incidents. Yet just 33% of organisations offer employees support for alcohol-related issues. In fact, a large proportion (over 70%), of managers are not trained for dealing with disclosure and how to signpost support. Indeed, only 27% of managers are able to furnish employees with the necessary information about disclosing an alcohol issue. To that end, this research implies that alcohol abuse impacts more people than is generally thought. - Yet the fact of the matter is that it is not being satisfactorily managed in the workplace through regular on-site alcohol testing, and suitable support and training [1].

Drug Testing Kits UK's cutting-edge Alcohol Testing Kits & Workplace Breathalysers, incorporate the highest grade, most reliable, super-easy to administer, breath alcohol testing instruments, blood alcohol tests, saliva alcohol tests, and urine alcohol tests. - Please do not hesitate to contact our friendly, highly trained, professional, Drug Testing Kits UK Customer Service Team, to discuss your specific needs, and find out about specific products, and how you can get started with on-site alcohol testing.

A No 1 Choice: The Intoximeter Alco-Sensor FST® Breathalyser 

Regarded as the most accurate testing instruments on the market, Intoximeters, have been leaders in the breath alcohol testing industry for more than 70 years. The Alco-Sensor® range of alcohol breath testing instruments sets the industry standard, and other breath alcohol analysers are routinely compared to them for quality and efficacy. Drug Testing Kits UK is an a registered and approved Intoximeter distribution partner, and as such, all our customers benefit from this association.

Mega Benefits

If you choose the globally renowned Intoximeter Alco-Sensor FST Breathalyser, you can be assured that whoever you chose to conduct the on-site alcohol tests, will find its passive testing procedure super simple to operate. Moreover, it has been engineered to provide intuitive operating procedures that minimise risk to the administrator. It is ideal for providing quick screening to a large number of employees, and there is no need to change mouthpieces. - This is due to the innovative “Passive Cup” attachment. This means that there is minimum disruption from the employees' work schedule.

Moreover, this premium grade Intoximeter instrument is able to measure the headspace (air) above a solution (e.g. in a partly filled bottle), by utilising an attachment known as the “Drink Sniffer.” This excellent method, which is very valuable in the workplace, can determine whether or not alcohol is present in a suspicious looking open container.

Innovative Features 

Unlike the majority of other breathalysers on the market, the AS-FST has been engineered to provide a hundred percent safety for the operator. Its rear-facing display and symmetric design, empowers the operator to: 

  • Keep control of the employee being tested
  • Clearly view the instrument display
  • Monitor the surrounding environment, and while collecting samples, divert the employees' breath, so that they are not directly in the breath stream

More leading-edge benefits which are excellent for low light operations, include:

  • An illuminated mouthpiece guide
  • A  backlit LCD display
  • A  “lever and snap” mouthpiece insertion
  • An optional multi-colour backlit display messaging which generates warnings about important test conditions 

Super Simple to Use 

Drug Testing Kits UK's Intoximeter Alco-Sensor FST Breathalyser (which comes with a hard carry case), is extremely robust, which makes it excellent for environments associated with certain industries. In addition to this, it makes the administrator feel confident, as they do not have to be concerned that they will inadvertently damage the instrument.

Highly Accurate, Precise Results

“Intoximeters fuel cell-based instruments set the alcohol testing industry standard for precision & accuracy. It's the ideal tool for professional level employee testing & screening  where quality & fit for purpose are crucial”

Also, when it comes to direct breath sample testing, as a company or organisation, you can be sure of  accurate, precise, and repeatable results. This Intoximeter Alco-Sensor FST Breathalyser, ranks as a top quality electrochemical fuel cell sensor. And to that end, it is manufactured to provide a long life, and generate exacting specifications for repeatability and accuracy.

In addition, these linear breathalysers provide consistent output evidential grade analysis. Therefore, Drug Testing Kits UK specifically recommends them for all disciplinary and non-disciplinary screening applications.

Be Sure to Get the ITS Intoximeter Alco-Sensor FST Breathalyser & Not an Inferior Copy

Not only are some foreign-owned UK websites offering alcohol and drug testing kits which do not conform to the necessary UK standards (as they are manufactured  the US); there are also various low quality, cheap, unreliable, “non-UK Home Office approved” or “semi-conductor” breathalyser units on the market. However, in stark opposition to this scenario - which could potentially lead to very serious consequences for companies and organisations, Drug Testing Kits UK, only sell fully approved devices which meet strict UK regulations (and in the case of the Republic of Ireland, strict EU regulations). Moreover, all our customers have the surety that they are ordering the latest premium quality devices on the market. For example, our ITS Intoximeter Alco-Sensor FST Breathalyser with Printer, is officially approved by the Home Office. To that end, it is the top choice for legally defensible workplace alcohol screening, where printed test results are necessary for the National Grid, Network Rail, and so on.

However, whether your company or organisation is big or small, here at Drug Testing Kits UK, we have the perfect solution for you. If alcohol testing is a new procedure for you, or if you would just like to know about any new options on the market that could, for example, make the testing process quicker, then just contact our highly experienced Customer Service Team. They will ensure that you order the right equipment that will enhance your health and safety environment, and protect the name of your company/organisation. Further, the Drug Testing Kits UK CX Team will also explain how efficient and quick the testing procedure actually is - as it gives instantaneous results from minimum disruption to the employees' work schedule.

Did You Know?

“Alcohol misuse findings show that an estimated 15% of adults in the UK are classed as high-risk drinkers (based on amount or frequency of consumption), & 2% of people within this category would be considered to have a ‘possible dependence’. It is therefore essential that employers have support mechanisms in place – for example, line managers & HR feeling capable & confident to discuss sensitive issues with staff & to support them to get the help they need” [1]

Whether or not you have an existing issue with employees who have an alcohol use issue, it is still important to have a policy for managing and supporting employees who do. Moreover, employees who you may consider stable, may actually be hiding a drinking issue, that could well surface at any given time. Of note, “while not everyone who uses alcohol will begin to misuse or become dependent on it, it’s worth remembering that even infrequent use can impact on the workplace in many ways” [1]. These include:

  • Increased absence
  • Not being punctual
  • Reduced productivity and work performance
  • Safety risks to the employee and others
  • The potential for temperamental behaviour in the workplace (something which in some cases, can result in abusive, aggressive language, sexual harassment, and an increased risk of violent behaviour)
  • Negatively affect team morale
  • Seriously impact customer relations, and cause financial loss to the company/organisation, and an adverse reputation on social media, etc. [1].

Thinking Outside the Box to Deal With an Alcohol Issue in the Workplace

“It is essential when dealing with a situation where an employee may have a problem with alcohol not to assume there is one specific approach or solution. Every case needs to be dealt with individually” [1]

Of note, a large percentage of workplace incidents involving alcohol misuse, will be one-off incidents which do not involve alcohol dependence or addiction. That said, such incidents should nonetheless, be handled in a supportive way, and all employees must be aware that they are subject to random alcohol testing. It so also important to be mindful that many employees who have alcohol issues, are very good at their jobs, and only exhibit minimal signs of their habit. However, as time passes, ill health and disease are likely to take over, and to that end, as an employer, you are actually helping them by making them subject to random alcohol tests.  On the bright side, once your employees are tested using Drug Testing Kits UK's alcohol tests, they will see how super quick and non-invasive they are!


[1]. CIPD (2020). “Managing Drug & Alcohol Misuse at Work: A Guide For Employers.”