To help you to ensure and promote a healthy workforce, Workers Health Ltd provides a comprehensive program for employment related substance abuse testing in line with your Company’s Substance Abuse Policy. All samples sent for ‘chain of custody’ analysis are tested and reported on by a fully accredited UKAS laboratory.
We provide the following screening:
- Pre-Placement: A test employers choose to do on hiring an employee to ensure they are not using drugs or alcohol
- Random: Unscheduled, unannounced drug and/or alcohol testing of randomly selected employees done in a non-discriminatory manner
- Evidential Breath alcohol testing using the Draeger Home Office certified breathalyser
- Post-accident: A test conducted on employees who have been involved in a work-related accident (vehicular or otherwise) to determine whether drug or alcohol use was a factor
- Reasonable suspicion: Tests are conducted when a trained supervisor or company official observes behaviour or appearance that is characteristic of drug or alcohol misuse
- Return-to-duty: Testing performed when an employee has contravened the company’s drug and alcohol conduct standards and is due to return to their role
Methods of testing
We would suggest on site instant testing as a starting point for your testing process – unless your policy indicates we are to collect Chain of Custody samples for direct analysis by our laboratory – the instant tests are extremely sensitive and any non-negative results should then be analysed by our laboratory partner for an evidential test, see below
A laboratory test using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectometry (GCMS) is the most precise test for identifying and quantifying drugs or their metabolites in the urine. Used as a confirmation (or Evidential) test following a positive (non-negative) result on an instant test panel for the presence of drugs or their metabolites in the urine this gives a defensible result and would then be reviewed by our MRO.
Oral Fluid (Saliva) Drug Testing
Saliva or Oral Fluid Testing is a rapid method for proving recent use of drugs and gives a snapshot of drug use. Any substance will leave an immediate trace in the mouth that lasts between 6-24 hours – providing random insights that could suggest longer-term problems.
Saliva Drug Testing could start with screening, a simple process that can be carried out on site. Our laboratory will then test any positive samples using Liquid Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry – a reliable method that produces fast and accurate results. As Oral Fluid Testing only gives us a limited window of detection, it’s most commonly used as an initial or supporting test – for example:
- Random drug screening
- Day to day testing of subjects under supervision
- Complementary evidence for Hair Tests, to determine short and long-term consumption
Oral Fluid Testing has advantages over random Urine Tests as collection is easily supervised and there’s less potential for contaminating or tampering with samples.
Hair Drug Testing
Hair testing for drug use is a straight forward process, where our laboratory measures the drugs and drug metabolites found inside the shafts of a lock of hair. By taking a small sample, from the head or body, we can establish the level of use over a period stretching from one week ago to the previous 12 months – depending on the length of hair. Traces last for a number of months – and as hair typically grows at 1cm per month, we can identify what’s been used within a reliable timeframe. Testing hair provides a Black Box recording of drug and alcohol use.
The Medical Review Officer
Medical Review Officers, also known as an MRO, are extremely important throughout the employee drug screening process. The MRO is an Occupational Health professional who coordinates the testing process between the laboratory and employer step-by-step, ensuring that the data and results gathered through the drug screen are thoroughly examined and addressed. The MRO understands the process of testing and the benefits and pitfalls of different biological samples and will be able to assist with your policy decisions and formation. New drugs are emerging and these may also impact on the workplace, it is important to understand how these risks can be mitigated and this is where the input of a qualified MRO is so important.