Safe Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing During A Pandemic

Posted by Dr Mike Garside on

Current levels of drug and alcohol use

The levels of drug and alcohol problems statistically increase during period of national crisis and the current pandemic is no exception.

Employers need to be aware of this and ensure that any changes to their pre-existing drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures are documented and implemented fairly and safely.

How to make sure your drug and alcohol testing procedures are safe

drug testing uk pandemic

Safe drug and alcohol testing is possible including on-site rapid drug and alcohol testing, with the use of appropriate PPE, increased hygiene measures, environmental cleaning and social distancing as per UK government guidelines

Key points to consider for safer drug and alcohol testing:

  • Use appropriate PPE including ideally a surgical face mask for the collector and or face visor for the collector and wear gloves. A disposable apron or gown will help to protect clothing.
  • Only collect samples for drug testing in a secure environment which can be cleaned between candidates.
  • Consider a drug test kit design which avoids or reduces sample handling or transfers (direct or barrel saliva drug test kit, sealed cup urine drug test kit)
  • Do a supervised drug testing sample collection by the donor while socially distanced
  • Move to single use alcohol tests for initial alcohol screening, saliva alcohol or single use chemical breath alcohol tests in preference to digital breathalysers (to avoid contamination) Consider a combined saliva drug and alcohol test kit ?

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