Drug and alcohol policy development is a critical element in dealing with drug and alcohol use in the workplace. Often organisations have a strong commitment to deal with the problem and hastily choose testing as a solution. This is often misguided and can create many problems and not necessarily achieve the desired outcome.
Sure People Solutions (SPS) therefore gives practical advice on how to develop a drug and alcohol policy. The policy should be well thought out, detailed enough to handle most situations that may arise, and fair for all concerned.
SPS holds regular workshops to get you started. These give you background information on drugs and alcohol use, practical advice on policy development and sample policies to give you some ideas.
SPS Testing Services
The range of drug testing services SPS provides includes pre-employment, cause and random onsite testing performed by experienced and qualified staff and includes breath alcohol and drugs of abuse testing. SPS operates on a 24/7 basis and will perform onsite tests on individuals as well as sites with hundreds of employees in a time efficient and cost-effective manner.
The most common drug and alcohol services are tests for oral fluid (saliva), urine and breath alcohol. Oral fluid (saliva) is becoming the preferred choice for onsite testing for many industries. It is more difficult to cheat, has a narrow window of detection, and requires no special facilities to collect. Urine though is still the preferred method for pre-employment testing with its ability to detect a broader history of drug use. Both saliva and urine drug testing are done according to the current Australian Standard, AS 4760(2006) and AS4308 (2008) respectively. As such we conduct regular quality control checks both internal and external in accordance with the standard. Our collectors are professionally trained in drug sample collection techniques and privacy.
How is it done?
There are a number of collection methods currently available but the most reliable involves a subject moving an absorbent device around the mouth picking up both saliva and other residues. The sample is then tested immediately. If the sample is non negative further laboratory testing may be required.
Why use Oral Fluids Testing?
There are a number of advantages of oral fluids testing over current urine drug testing methods:
- The sample is easier to collect with no privacy issues
- There is less chance the sample can be altered to mask the result
- The drug can be detected very quickly and does not persist for more than a few days which better reflects current usage
When is Oral Fluids Testing most useful?
As it is easy to collect and the drug can only be detected for a short time it is most useful for onsite safety checks such as roadside and workplace testing.
Is it available in Australia?
There are a number of onsite systems currently available and an Australian Standard AS 4760 was released at the end of 2006. This standard requires an extensive level of quality control and expertise to perform these tests to an evidentiary level that can potentially be defended in court.
Comparison of Oral Fluids Devices
We often get asked about different devices for testing. We use other systems as they are faster and more accurate. Here is a comparison with one of the systems we use