Right Times For Drug Testing in the Workplace

The Right Times & Circumstances For Drug Testing in the Workplace

James Gunter
Testing Kits UK provides the latest state-of-the-art drug & alcohol testing devices for countless industries, businesses, organisations & medical facilities, across the length & breath of the UK & Southern Ireland When it comes to testing employees for drugs; the types of tests that should be used, vary according to,1: the variety and category of drugs which are being tested, and 2: the types of specimens which are collected. Generally speaking, the most frequently used tests involve oral fluid (saliva), or urine. All the drug screening tests provided by Drug Testing Kits UK, are highly accurate, and fully approved by the regulatory authorities in the UK and Southern Ireland. Drug Testing Categories Tests are normally administered for the following drug categories: • Amphetamines • Cocaine Marijuana • Opiates • Phencyclidine (PCP) • Barbiturates • Benzodiazepines • Hydrocodone • MDMA • Methadone • Methaqualone • Propoxyphene Set Times & Circumstances For Drug Testing in the Workplace •Pre-Employment: making passing a drug test a condition of employment, is a wise move. By utilising this approach, all candidates who apply for a position will be given a drug test prior to being offered employment. As a number of Drug Testing Kits UK's informational blogs point out, at the present time in the UK: "it is not a legal requirement for all private companies to perform a drugs test as part of their pre-employment screening. Neither is it a requirement for existing employees to have a random drug test. If an employer wishes to carry out a drugs test on an employee they must seek permission, & if that permission is not given then there may be disciplinary action, but unlike the US, this would not result in instant dismissal" [1] In a 2001 survey only 18% of UK companies carried out drug testing amongst employees, & in 2004 that percentage dropped to just 14%. With 31% of the population admitting to taking illegal drugs in 2019 & 21% of them saying they do so occasionally" [1], smart companies & organisations actively protect their reputation & bank balance by making drug testing a regular part of their employee safeguarding strategy •Yearly Physical Tests: conducting drug tests on your employees as part of their annual physical examination, is an excellent idea. It is however, important to inform members of staff (in writing) that these tests will be taking place. It is also important that employees sign this notification prior to their yearly physical examination. Failure to provide prior notification is in violation of the member of staff's legal rights. •Random Testing: administering drug tests using an unpredictable selection process, is the most effective way to discourage the illegal use of drugs •Reasonable Suspicion and For-Cause Tests: it is wise to test members of staff who have a documented pattern of unsafe behaviour in the workplace (this is known as reasonable suspicion testing). Furthermore, it is a good idea to test members of staff who display noticeable signs of not being fit for their duties (this is referred to as for-cause testing). Such types of tests can help to defend the well-being and safety of both the employee and their fellow members of staff •Post-Accident Tests: administering drug tests to members of staff who have been involved in unsafe practises or workplace accidents, can help to ascertain whether or not the use of drugs contributed to the incident •Post-Treatment Tests: by carrying out unexpected drug tests on members of staff who return to work after finishing a rehabilitation program, employers can help to keep the employees on track, and in some cases, even stop them from carrying on with their destructive habit The Conversation on Drug Testing is Shifting "The conversation is shifting around workplace drug testing, in terms of both when & how testing is carried out. There has been a growing interest in pre-employment testing, for example, which marks a concerted effort to discourage the recruitment of staff with a history of substance misuse - a particular concern in high-risk industries like manufacturing or construction. The most common test in this scenario is urine testing" [2]. The fully comprehensive selection of top grade drug tests provided by Drug Testing Kits UK, ensures that employers from all industries & businesses/organisations, can order kits that are a hundred percent right for their needs, regardless of whether the number of employees is 10 or 1,000. Moreover, one reason why Drug Testing Kits UK is in such great demand, is the fact that all customer service advisors are fully trained and conversant in the latest highly accurate cutting-edge drug testing kits, all of which can be easily administered by an HR representative or other dedicated member of staff Putting a Spotlight on the UK Drug Testing Laws Naturally, certain industries (e.g., aviation, rail, and shipping) are legally obliged to provide a robust workplace testing scheme, and this crucial regulation is predicted to remain in force. Yet, in contrast to this, there is a high percentage of industries where drug testing is still not mandatory. - To that end, this scenario often deters these industries from initiating voluntary drug testing until there is a serious accident or event that seriously damages the company's/organisation's reputation, thus losing them a substantial amount of business (and even sending them into bankruptcy); not to mention exorbitant legal costs which can be in the tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. The Cold, Hard Facts If we consider construction and factory workers who pass their days and nights in a potentially dangerous and demanding working environment, clearly regular and random drug tests are a must. Yet: "a survey carried out by the Considerate Constructors Scheme, found that 6 out of 10 people in the UK construction industry are genuinely concerned about the harm being caused by drug and alcohol use. Indeed, 35% of those questioned reported seeing colleagues trying to perform responsible jobs while under the influence of drugs & alcohol, & 39% felt that much more can & should be done to tackle workplace substance abuse problems" [2]. Moreover, very worryingly, 65% of employees in the construction industry, have stated that they had never been tested for alcohol or drugs in the workplace [2]. - And this is what makes so many companies across the length and breath of the UK and Southern Ireland, so unnecessarily vulnerable. The Solution If your company/organisation is not running regular/unannounced drug tests in the workplace, then your first point of call should be to ascertain exactly what types of drug testing kits you need, and what the legalities are regarding obtaining permission from your employees for administering the drug tests. Here at Drug Testing Kits UK, we aim to make understanding the rules and regulations as simple as possible. Moreover, we often report the results of high and low profile court cases involving being under the influence of drugs in the workplace. Explore Our Top-of-the-Range Drug Testing Kits Saliva Drug Testing Kits Drug Testing Kits UK offer this very popular, non-invasive, painless, easy to use, highly accurate saliva drug screening method, which involves utilising a sponge swab to get a saliva sample from someone's mouth. Once this is achieved, the sample can be analysed on-site within 1 to 3 minutes, by a dedicated member of HR staff. If there are any traces of illegal and prescription drugs in the employee's system, they will show up very clearly on the drug testing device. Common drugs which are tested for, include: •Cocaine •Opioids •Ecstasy •Marijuana •Amphetamines •Methadone •Methamphetamines •Barbiturates •Benzodiazepines •Oxycodone •Morphine Urine Drug Testing Kits Drug Testing Kits UK offer two forms of urine testing kits. These include: the integrated cup urine drug test kits and the urine drug testing strips. The former is mainly used for testing for multiple drugs in just one urine sample. Whereas the urine test strips are frequently used during rehab or drug treatment programs in order to screen for abstinence from one or two drugs. Please do not hesitate to contact our friendly Drug Testing Kits UK Customer Service Team, to discuss your company's/organisation's specific needs! Find Out More Important Info on Our Drugs Testing Kits UK Website We highly recommend our professionally written blog, which is referenced with the best possible sources available. These include the UK government, and law firms which specialise in the fields of drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Here are a few topics that you are likely to be interested in, as they relate to this article: Dealing With Drug & Alcohol Exposure in the Workplace Developing Your Drug & Alcohol Policy UK Law Relating to Drug & Alcohol Misuse References [1]. Grant Screening (2022). "Could mandatory pre-employment drug testing come to the UK?" https://www.giantscreening.com/blog/could-mandatory-pre-employment-drug-testing-come-to-the-uk [2]. Wicks, J. (2019). "The state of UK workplace drug testing in 2019." Cansford Laboratories. https://blog.cansfordlabs.co.uk/uk-workplace-drug-testing-in-2019 A negative test result does not indicate that an employee has never used alcohol or illicit drugs, nor is it a guarantee against future use.