UK workplace drug and alcohol testing 2020
Many changes hove occurred in workplace environments in 2020.
New social distancing measures to ensure businesses are Covid secure have been introduced since we last gave guidance on best practice for workplace drug and alcohol testing.
So how has Covid-19 impacted the ability, procedure and need to perform workplace drug testing
Expect the levels of drug and alcohol abuse to rise during any period of change and stress affecting your workforce.
So the very first bullet point is, don't expect the problem to have gone away, your duty to provide a safe workplace is even more apparent and the risks have increased.
How to drug and alcohol test safely in the workplace
- Workplace drug and alcohol screening can be delivered safely with the correct use of PPE and the use of universal precautions for sample handling.
- The use of digital breathalysers may need to be modified to ensure safe operation, so we recommend looking at a single use alcohol screening tool or even better the use of a combined drug and alcohol saliva first screen test (DSD-877 or DSD-8127)
- Drug testing can be safely operated using either saliva or urine test kits while still respecting social distancing with the use of appropriate PPE by the sample processor.
- The modern direct saliva design drug test kits in our catalogue, really lend themselves to this method of sample collection. The DSD-863MTD oral fluid drug test kit matches the UK Police roadside drug test combination and is a great choice for most business drug testing including the logistics industry.
What is the suggested PPE for sample collectors and administrators of workplace drug testing ?
We suggest at the minimum:
- A clear perspex face shield like the one shown above
And we would also recommend as an extra precaution
- A disposable face mask worn under the face shield.
- The person being drug tested to also wear a face covering or disposable face mask and to maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres. If an oral drug test is being performed the test subject can briefly remove the face covering while they perform the oral drug test.
- Hand washing should be performed before and after the drug test by both parties.
- If hand washing facilities are not available then the use of 70% alcohol hand sanitiser is advised.