The testing of individuals for alcohol and drugs should be regarded as a tool to help support the substance abuse policy.
There are three main types of testing carried out; each organisation should consider which type(s) of testing is appropriate for their needs.
Usually carried out as part of the employee selection process. At this stage job applicants are not employees so, as long as testing is applied in an even-handed way, with no suspicion of bias, it can be rapidly introduced as part of the recruitment process.
Involves the testing of employees using a selection protocol with a random element. Unannounced testing is a major deterrent for alcohol and drug abuse in the workplace.
Carried out following an incident, accident, ‘near-miss’ or with ‘suspicion’. Results from such testing can then be used as part of any subsequent investigation. The sooner after an incident that a ‘for-cause’ sample can be collected the better, in order to get the best possible indication of the presence of drugs or alcohol, and to avoid donors being detained for long periods awaiting sample collection.
Which Sample is Best?
Urine, Oral Fluid and Hair can all be used to detect drugs. The main basis for choice of sample is the detection window. In general:
NIVHA provides a professional collection service, using fully trained staff.
The collection of samples can also be carried out using your own staff. If you would like to keep all testing services in-house, NIVHA encourages and fully supports a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach to testing. This is likely to be a cost-effective option for many organisations. Click here to view Client-Enabled Testing
The testing of an individual for alcohol or drugs may involve laboratory analysis of a urine or saliva sample. Because it is essential that analytical results are attributed to the person who donated the sample, strict chain-of-custody procedures must be used. The procedures used by NIVHA adhere to these principles, ensuring total confidence in the integrity of the process.
The medical review process is an important part of the drug testing procedure. It is carried out by an occupational physician (Medical Review Officer, MRO) or forensic toxicologist who independently assesses the laboratory results alongside with other available information. A positive alcohol or drugs report cannot be issued without MRO involvement.
If your organisation does not already use the services of an occupational physician, we can arrange for MRO services to be provided.
NIVHA can provide customers with the necessary tools, training and support to carry out their own drug and alcohol testing in-house. The success of modern breathtesting and oral fluid screening technology has now made this possible.
This approach can be a particularly cost-effective.
Please contact us if you would like to learn more about this exciting approach to testing.
NIVHA provides a complete service from sample collection, on-site screening, laboratory analysis and reporting.
All analytical work is accredited to UKAS 17025 standard. Our practice adheres to European guidelines for workplace drug testing (www.ewdts.org).
Results can be transmitted to your organisation by conventional means (eg. post, fax) although most of our customers make use of our web based, on-line results system.