Randox Testing Services | How can a policy form the basis of workplace drug & alcohol testing?

Randox Testing Services | How can a policy form the basis of workplace drug & alcohol testing?

If you work in a company with safety-critical roles it is more than likely that you have some sort of workplace drug and alcohol testing policy in place. Even companies without safety-critical roles are implementing these policies to further ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff.

Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures.

The policy itself holds vital importance, providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them, whilst educating themselves with information provided in a written comprehensive manner.

The importance of implementing a policy

The most important element of a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy is SAFETY. Drug and alcohol use increases the probability of workplace accidents occurring. Studies have found that employees who have alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work. The main issues associated with substance misuse relate to:

  • Absenteeism – it’s estimated that 17 million days of work are lost per year due to substance misuse.
  • Low productivity levels – employees may reduce output in different tasks and become de-motivated.
  • Inappropriate behaviour – some cases of substance abuse may lead to crime.
  • Aggressive behaviour towards others – resulting in loss of employment / convictions

It’s evident that many who suffer from drug & alcohol abuse are in employment. Studies show 25% of those in employment were registered drug addicts with 3.3% of all adults aged 16-59 classified as frequent users.

Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to implement a workplace drug and alcohol policy, to ensure the welfare of each member of staff is considered. Under the Health & Safety Act 1874, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees is fully met in order to maintain standards.

The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:

  • Building relationships with employees by showing there is help and support available.
  • Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if needed.
  • It can reduce the number of sick employees, reduce staff turnover and increase productivity levels.

Speak with us directly

We understand that the importance of having a policy that suits the specific needs of your company. In order to fully achieve this, we offer a free policy review service, where we will review your company’s existing documentation to gain an understanding of how we can help going forward.

We are delighted to announce we will be attending the Safety & Health Expo 2018. The annual event, running from 19th – 21st June and held at the Excel London, is the UK’s largest health and safety event with over 13,500 national and international key industry professionals across construction, manufacturing, government and consulting.

By attending this prestigious event we hope to engage with a range of stakeholders to discuss how our drug & alcohol testing services can have a positive impact on your employees and business.

If you are attending this event and would like to speak with us, please stop by our stand M410 to speak with one of our experts.

Alternatively, if you would like to arrange a meeting with us prior to the event, please email us: testingservices@randox.com, and quote Safety & Health Expo 2018 at the beginning of your message.

For more information on workplace drug & alcohol testing, visit www.randoxtestingservices.com.

 


The Importance of a Workplace Substance Misuse Policy

What is a workplace substance misuse policy?

Many organisations implement a policy that outlines the expectations they have concerning the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol and how this can affect performance and safety in the workplace. This can often be referred to as a substance misuse policy.

Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures. Fundamentally, this is to guarantee complete workplace safety. The policy itself holds a vital importance providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them in the workplace.

To ensure transparency of information, it is imperative that the policy is written in a clear, comprehensive manner. This should allow them to understand without confusion or misinterpretation the implications the organisation has in place for users who misuse substances.

Why is this policy so important for businesses to implement?

Alcohol and / or drug use increases the chances of problems occurring in the workplace. For example, studies have found that employees with alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work.

Some of the main issues that associated with substance misuse in the workplace are:

  • Absenteeism – It’s estimated that there are 17 million lost days of work per year due to substance misuse.
  • Low productivity levels – Employees may lose focus in different tasks and become de-motivated.
  • Inappropriate behaviour – Some cases of substance abuse may lead to inappropriate actions or in extreme cases crime

Evidence suggests that many people who suffer from alcohol and drug abuse are in employment. Studies show that 25% of registered drug addicts are in full-time employment and that 3.3% of all adults in England and Wales aged 16 – 59 classified as frequent users.

Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to put in place a workplace substance misuse policy to guarantee the welfare of all stakeholders. Under the Health & Safety Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees is met to all principles. Introducing an effective workplace policy is a key part in maintaining these standards.

The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:

  • Building relationships with employees by showing them there is support available.
  • Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if they feel they have a problem.
  • Its importance can reduce the number of sick employees, it can also increase staff turnover & productivity levels.
  • Employers who implement a workplace policy can also see a rise in efficiency, improved staff relationship, communication and improved corporate image and in some cases customer relations.

 

What we at Randox Testing Services can do:

Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by safety-critical companies all over the world. We provide complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a range of blue chip companies across multiple industries including aviation, transport, construction, maritime, retail and occupational health to name a few.

Our expert consultancy service allows employers to create an effective drug and alcohol misuse policy. We offer comprehensive advice, guidance and support in composing an effective policy and explaining best procedures and testing methods to use. We also provide assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy, helping to modify existing documents to ensure they are legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.

To ensure clear communication of any policy changes, our experts can come to your workplace and present the policy to your staff. By having a third party explain the policy employers can ensure all the benefits are communicated effectively. This way staff do not feel like they are being victimised or persecuted, but know their employer is looking after their workplace wellbeing.

Combining our consultancy service with our drug and alcohol testing service and / or point of care products, employers can find a complete testing solution from Randox Testing Services.

For more information on our products and services call +44 (0) 28 9445 1011, email, testingservices@randox.com or visit our website www.randoxtestingservices.com

 

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.

To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email testingservices@randox.com today.

 

 

 


Drink and Drug Drive Limits UK and Ireland

As part of Randox Testing Services‘ ongoing efforts to raise awareness around issues related to drugs and alcohol we will be running a drink and drug drive campaign in the first two weeks of December. This campaign will detail the different drink and drug drive limits across the UK and Ireland and highlight how these limits differ from border to border.

Drink Drive Limits UK & Ireland

As can be seen in the table below, the drink drive limits across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are the same whereas Scotland has a lower limit. In December 2014 the limit was reduced in order to bring Scotland in line with most other European countries. The drink drive limit in the Republic of Ireland is the same as Scotland.

General Public
Breath Blood Urine
Ireland 22µg 50mg 67mg
Scotland 22µg 50mg 67mg
Rest of UK 35µg 80mg 107mg

*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample

The limits above apply to the general public, however across Ireland lower limits have been set for professional drivers:

Professional Drivers
Breath Blood Urine
Ireland 9µg 20mg 27mg

*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample

In the UK the Railways Transportation Safety Bill was passed introducing these lower limits for HGV drivers, pilots, train drivers etc. This bill is active in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ireland replicated the UK by introducing this in Ireland’s Road Traffic Act 2010. Scotland currently don’t have regulations in place so the drink drive limits are the same regardless of occupation.

Drug Drive Limits UK & Ireland

Section 5A Road Traffic Act was passed in the UK on 2nd March 2015 which requires only the presence of drugs above a specified limit can provoke criminal proceedings against a driver. Roadside swab tests are currently being utilised across England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Roadside tests are used to detect the presence of four different types of drugs, the main two being cannabis and cocaine. The roadside tests only show a positive or negative reading that identifies traces of these drugs in the users system. If traces are shown, a blood sample is taken to identify the limit of the substance in a person.

If a roadside test doesn’t pick up traces of a substance an arrest can still be made if police have strong concerns that a driver may be under the influence of a substance they cannot detect at roadside. A blood sample is then taken for a more in-depth analysis to see if there are any drugs in the drivers system. The Scottish Government won’t have roadside testing put in place until 2019. It is still illegal to drive under the influence of drugs in Scotland and arrests can still be made.

Unlike alcohol, there are no separate drug drive limits for the general public and professional drivers:

Drug Driving Limits
Cannabis Cocaine Heroin
Ireland 1µg 10µg 5µg
England and Wales 2µg 10µg 5µg

*Values are amount of substance per 1 litre of blood

The Scottish Government confirmed drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland in 2019. Currently in Scotland and Northern Ireland it is illegal to drive if impaired by drugs and when police suspect a motorist of drug-driving, they carry out a field impairment test.

This method is still used in the UK and Ireland for drivers under the influence of other drugs not picked up in a swab test.  If the individual fails this they can be arrested and taken for a doctor’s examination to see if the person is impaired to the extent that they are unfit to drive. Then a blood sample is taken to prove if these drugs are in their system.

For more information on these limits follow us on Twitter @RandoxTesting to avail of the information and resources we will be sharing over the first 2 weeks in December.

You can also access our download wall which includes a range of educational posters, brochures and resources by visiting http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/downloads/

 

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.

To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email testingservices@randox.com today.


Clinical Laboratory Survey