- Hair testing - which is utilised for various reasons ordered by Courts.
- Blood testing - usually used by law enforcement.
- Surface testing - this is a growing area of drug testing mainly being utilised to test for the presence of drugs on surfaces in rental homes and newly purchased properties. Aimed at minimising the new owners chances of exposure to harmful chemicals, from previous household drug use or illegal drug making laboratories. It can also be used in staff locker areas, equipment etc.
- AMP - Amphetamine
- MOP - Morphine
- BZO - Benzodiazepines
- MET - Methamphetamine
- COC - Cocaine
- THC – Marijuana
- Synthetic Cannabis (Kronic etc)
Pre-employment alcohol and drug testing
Pre-employment drug testing can be carried out as part of the assessment for suitability process when a potential employee has applied for a position.
i.e. John Smith has applied for a position with Jones Constructions and the employer wants to assess their suitability for the role.
Induction testing is often carried out by sites as part of the site entry process. Results are taken by the candidate for presentation to the site supervisor.
i.e. John Smith, a contract maintenance worker is required to attend Hayes Gold Mine for the first time to undertake some maintenance on machinery.
Cause testing is undertaken when an employees (or contractors) manager or supervisor have a reason to question an employee’s fitness for work.
i.e. John Smith, a forklift operator, has been consistently late for work in recent days and has been falling asleep in the staff lunch room while on break.
Incident testing may be carried out following a near miss, safety incident or accident.
i.e. Michael Jones, an electrician, didn’t put the lockout tags on machinery to isolate it before undertaking maintenance.
Random alcohol and drug testing
Random alcohol and drug testing can be undertaken 24/7.
i.e. Randomly selected staff who work in the warehouse have been selected to undertake random testing after their lunch break.
Other testing can be arranged at the request of various services. Lawyers often request clients obtain a drug and alcohol test to futher strengthen a case. Realestate agents often surface test a house after an eviction to ensure the house is safe for the new tenant.
i.e. John Smith, wishes to obtain partial custody of his children. But his previous partner is saying he has a drug problem. John Smith however has not touched drugs for many years.
When testing is completed and the test indicates there are drugs in the system, it is said that the result is “non-negative” until formal analysis is performed. Once the presence of drugs are confirmed by a laboratory, it is then referred to as a ”positive” result.
Saliva test or urine test?
Saliva testing is the often the preferred method of testing. The detection of drugs in saliva suggests that an employee may be currently affected by a drug, therefore not fit for work. This is due to the time it takes drugs to leave the body. In Australia, several Industrial Relations/ Fair Work Australia decisions have ruled that urine drug testing is unreasonable as it is too intrusive for particular industries. Urine however has been ruled more appropriate for testing in particular industries such as mining. Urine testing requires adequate toilet facilities to undertake testing therefore is sometimes difficult to undertake at some sites. At Quantum Testing we are happy to undertake testing inline with your requirements and policies.
When can an employer undertake testing?
An employer is able to undertake testing provided the employees are properly trained, inducted and have acknowledged the terms of your Alcohol and Other Drug or “Fitness for Work” policy and procedure. You can require drug and alcohol testing within the terms and conditions of your established policy. We recommend the use of external providers to undertake testing for a number of reasons. Testing of employees by other staff within a company can lead to ongoing Industrial Relations disputes, staff morale consequences and victimisation accusations. Using an external provider ensures impartiality while maintaining professional relationships within the workplace. For particular circumstances we recommend the presence of a union representative or support person while undertaking the interviewing and testing of employees.
What about employees own prescribed medications?
Generally, as long as an employee is able to provide a valid Doctor’s prescription, the presence of prescription medications in the test results are treated as normal. These can be confirmed by a NATA accredited laboratory if required. Some prescription medications however, can be used incorrectly or other drugs and alcohol can enhance their effect. This is taken into consideration when undertaking the testing.
Do all tests need to be confirmed by a laboratory?
When testing is completed and the test indicates there are no drugs or alcohol present, this is generally considered as accurate. Our chosen testing devices have been shown to be extremely accurate; this is why we use them. There are a number of indicators on the testing equipment that provide our staff with information on the accuracy of the test. Therefore we do not recommend that formal confirmation is needed if tests are negative. If a test is shown to be “non-negative” it must be formally confirmed by a laboratory. We use a NATA accredited laboratory to undertake confirmation testing. All required evidence for chain of custody is completed by us. We do not mark up these confirmations. Confirmation can often take several weeks, however the “non-negative” sample giver is still able to be disciplined (such as suspended from work for safety reasons) until formal confirmation is carried out.