An Introduction To Drug and Alcohol Testing In The Workplace

An Introduction To Drug and Alcohol Testing In The Workplace

Oct 28 2021 10:16AM

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act, any employer has a legal duty to protect employees’ health, safety, and welfare. Understanding the signs of drug and alcohol misuse (or abuse) will help you to manage health and safety risk in your workplace, employers could be prosecuted if employees are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


That’s why many companies are turning to regular drug and alcohol testing at work. We've put together a guide about drug testing in the workplace in the UK so you can make an informed decision.

Why Should You Consider Drug and Alcohol Testing In The Workplace?

Regular drug and alcohol testing is recommended on employees carrying out high risk activities that if impairment by drugs or alcohol could cause serious harm to themselves and others around them.

It can improve the reputability of a workplace when you can prove that everyone working there is working safely. It can ensure that important and potentially risky tasks are carried out with the care they require.

What Is The Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedure In The UK?

These tests are carried out by qualified personnel. They will ask for a urine sample from each of your employees under controlled conditions to eliminate the chance of cheating. A test pallet strip is then dipped into the sample and removed to assess the urine sample. This takes about ten minutes.

Once completed, the test is shown to the employee being tested. If negative, the results are recorded and all material destroyed.

In the case that the strip shows a non-negative detection of drugs or alcohol in the system, then the sample is divided into two separate pots which are sealed under the chain of custody. This is done in front of the employee. These pots are sent to a lab where one is tested under lab conditions and the other is tested at a lab of the employee’s choice.

Once the results are returned to us and passed on, you as the employer can choose to act in accordance with your policies and make a decision about your employee.

What Are The Benefits of Regular Alcohol and Drug Tests At Work?

Official statistics show that the proportion of young workers drinking to excess is greatest in manual jobs such as construction and manufacturing. Alcohol misuse in the workplace can have severe effects and contribute to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities at work.

To keep your business operating safely, get in touch with Arion today.

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