Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing
Professional equipment and training for your company
As the UK’s leading Drug and Alcohol Safety experts, we’ve been helping corporate and government organisations find the right solution to their alcohol and drug testing needs since 2002. And we provide the complete solution; high quality, industry-leading drug and alcohol testing equipment, training and servicing.
We assist clients from a wide range of industries including transport, healthcare, construction, retail and government. We are channel partners for the FTA (Freight Transport Association) and associates of the highly regarded Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS ID A00185).
Drug and Alcohol Training
Providing expert advice to companies implementing workplace drug and alcohol testing is a key part of our business. We therefore offer award-winning, CPD accredited training courses, covering the theory and practical elements of drug and alcohol testing in the workplace.
Our popular one-day Workplace Testing courses (available for anyone to attend) run all over the UK throughout the year. We also offer bespoke on-site training tailored to your company’s drug and alcohol policies and online training for convenience and flexibility.
Visit alcodigital.academy for more information on all our training courses.
Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003
Companies operating under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 (airlines, airport handling companies, rail operators, maritime organisations etc) must enforce the strict prescribed alcohol limits covered by the act; in the case of breath, 9 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres.
Section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988
‘A person who, when driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place, is unfit to drive through drink or drugs is guilty of an offence.’
This means that if your employee is impaired by alcohol whilst driving and therefore unfit to drive, then they could be guilty of a drink-driving offence and arrested, even if they below the legal drink drive limit when breathalysed.
They could also be guilty of drug-driving, as the law has specified levels covering 17 legal and illegal drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and heroin.
But it’s not just legal drugs that employers need to be aware of; individuals on prescription drugs for pain relief, anxiety or sleep disorders must be made aware of the limitations in place to prevent employees from driving when taking drugs that are not prescribed or taking more than prescribed. Some prescribed medications covered by limitations include morphine, diazepam and methadone.
Transport and Works Act
‘It is a criminal offence for any worker to be unfit to operate due to drink or drugs. Employers must show due diligence to prevent such offences from occurring in the workplace.’
Company drug and alcohol policies
Legislation requires that companies take reasonable steps to ensure that their employees are fit to work. As an employer, you may know that your employees aren’t taking drugs or drinking alcohol at work, but how do you know they are safe to work the morning after?
We’ve put together a practical 10 Step Guide to Drug and Alcohol Policy to make it easy to create or review your company’s drug and alcohol policy. Sign up for our series of emails to guide you through the process here.
A robust workplace drug and alcohol policy should ensure that problems relating to employee impairment through drug or alcohol are dealt with effectively and consistently. The policy should set a clear limit for alcohol and define the method of testing, how and when the company will test for drugs and alcohol and the consequences of a positive test result or a test refusal.
When introducing a new drug or alcohol policy, we would recommend setting a period of time for employees to come forward with any concerns they personally have with alcohol or drugs. As an employer, it can be difficult to know how to deal with an employee showing signs of drug or alcohol addiction; we have some advice on how to help here.
Testing employees for drugs and alcohol
How and when a company tests for drugs and alcohol (as defined in their drug and alcohol policy) will have some influence over the type of devices and equipment required to test.
- On suspicion
All employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure that they adhere to current legislation and best practice, using suitable testing equipment. It is unreasonable to subject employees to an alcohol test using a breathalyzer designed for personal use. Professional breathalyzers are specifically designed for alcohol testing in the workplace.
For routine or random alcohol screening and high-volume testing, we recommend the AlcoSaber Breathalyzer, which gives an instant result and requires no physical contact.
When testing post-incident or on suspicion of being impaired by alcohol in a workplace environment, we recommend a UK Home Office approved breathalyser, like the Dräger Alcotest 6820 Breathalyzer or Dräger Alcotest 7510 Breathalyzer. Both these devices are certified by the UK Home Office for police use.
Most clients of ours find that in the long run, Draeger’s build quality, accuracy and certification will pay for itself. Their devices have been designed and built for daily use by police forces all over the world and fuel cell technology is far more consistent and accurate than the semi-conductor sensors found in less expensive models.
We can also supply the Draeger 6820 and Draeger 7510 in complete system kit, with all the equipment required for data collection and printouts, which can then be used at later disciplinary or tribunal hearings. The Alcotest 6820 can store basic, pre-formatted data (date, time, result) whereas the Alcotest 7510 can store totally flexible data, entered either via the keypad or using a QWERTY keyboard. The Alcotest 7510 can also connect to a GPS module to store the exact time, date & place of testing.
Professional drug testing equipment
We supply a range or oral/saliva drug test kits to suit a variety of requirements and budgets.
Our range of simple to use DrugStop drug test kits provide a low-cost way to screen for common drugs of abuse, such as cannabis and cocaine.
Draeger’s single-use drug testing kit, the DrugCheck 3000, is similar to those the police use on the road-side and can test for up to 6 commons drugs of abuse. These tests are highly accurate and recommended by the European Workplace Drug Testing Society (EWDTS).
The Draeger DrugTest 5000 Analyzer is a machine used by the UK police and is therefore Home Office approved. It is the ultimate piece of kit for drug testing; it makes the process very simple and removes the human error element, ensuring an accurate test every time. The DrugTest 5000 is also recommended by the European Workplace Drug Testing Society (EWDTS).
Employers have to have consent if they want to test for drugs. Find out more about employee’s rights and drug testing here: https://www.gov.uk/monitoring-work-workers-rights/drug-testing
A positive drug test should always be followed up with a laboratory confirmation test in order to provide an evidential result which will stand up in any legal proceedings or tribunals.