Random Drug Testing

Random drug testing

Random drug testing what does it mean, how will it benefit your company or school and how to introduce it 

Random drug testing at work

An increasing number of companies in the UK are now conducting random drugs tests at work to screen their employees for drugs and alcohol. This is particularly popular in safety-critical industries where being under the influence of drugs or alcohol poses a risk to the individual or to others and forms part of the health & safety policy of many British companies.

Access Diagnostic Tests UK Ltd have been supplying onsite drug testing kits for this purpose now for over 10 years. We have a selection of drug testing kits for both urine and saliva that are ideal for random drug testing in the workplace.
Click here to see a range of drug testing kits suitable for random drug testing at work

The benefits of random drug testing 

Introducing random drug and alcohol screening often has the benefit of reducing casual drug usage, even without the need for regular or expensive drug screening. A totally random drug screening program is often all that is required to motivate drug and alcohol avoidance behaviour, in all but the most resistant and dependent users.

Introducing random drug testing at work

Pre-employment drug and alcohol screening as part of a general pre-offer health check for all new employees is the ideal time to introduce the principles of drug and alcohol screening as a routine part of the employment package.
Click here for more information & advice on drug & alcohol testing in the workplace

When & how to perform random drug testing

As the name suggests random drug testing needs to occur at random times and not be predictable. Having said this random drug screening is best targeted at high-risk times. Monday morning and Friday afternoon being the prime detection periods for casual weekend drug use, and Friday lunchtime drinking. 

Post-incident /accident drug and alcohol screening should also be considered to exclude drug and alcohol effects as causal or contributory. This is often required by HSE investigators and should always be considered in any event likely to be referred for HSE investigation.

How often do most companies random drug test?

The frequency of random drug testing in companies can vary widely depending on various factors such as industry regulations, company policies, the nature of the work, and legal requirements in the country where the company operates.

In safety-sensitive industries such as transportation, construction, and manufacturing, where employees operate heavy machinery or are involved in tasks that could pose a risk to themselves or others if performed under the influence of drugs, random drug testing may be more frequent. In these industries, it's not uncommon for companies to conduct random drug tests on a quarterly or even monthly basis.

On the other hand, in industries where safety concerns are less pronounced, or where there are no specific regulatory requirements, companies may conduct random drug testing less frequently, perhaps once or twice a year.

It's essential for employees to be familiar with their company's drug testing policies and to understand how often they may be subject to random drug tests. These policies are typically outlined in the employee handbook or through direct communication from the human resources department.

Always operate a fair random drug screening program at work

All random drug testing programs must be operated fairly, be proportionate to the risk of the employment role, and operated as part of a comprehensive workplace drugs and alcohol policy, written into the terms of service or employment contract.
If you require any help or advice on drug testing in the workplace or advice on choosing the best drug testing kits to suit your needs then please contact us

Random drug & alcohol testing in schools

Drug & alcohol testing is popular in many British schools where the staff are acting in loco parentis, and want to screen the students in their care for drug or alcohol use. Random drug testing is particularly popular in boarding schools, where the students are spending much longer hours, and may be many miles from home, or even in a foreign country as is the case in so many English public schools.

In the case of schools, the drug or alcohol testing tends to occur when there is suspicion of drug or alcohol, use such as after a night out or party, or if a suspect tablet or powder is discovered by school staff.

The most common drugs that are likely to be picked up by random drug testing in school are Cannabis & alcohol so schools may opt to just screen for these, or may go for a multipanel urine drug testing kit that screens for the most common drugs of abuse and a digital breathalyser to screen for breath alcohol levels. 

Click here for 5-panel urine drug testing kits with Cannabis

More information on drug testing in schools here

Alcohol breathalyser for schools

A digital breathalyser and or single use disposable breathalyser kits can be particularly useful to check sixth formers, who are driving themselves home after a function at school were alcohol may have been served to them.

Support with random drug testing

If you need any help or assistance with random drug testing and you are in the UK, contact our professional knowledgeable customer support team via chat , telephone or email, and they will be happy to help you. They are UK based and are available Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Random Drug Testing page last reviewed and updated by Dr Kate Garside 9/2/24

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