Drug & Alcohol Misuse

Why have a Drug & Alcohol Policy?

The benefits of having a robust drug and alcohol policy are numerous and include:

  • Actively executing your duty of care in line with Health and Safety at Work Act 1974/1999 particularly for drivers, machine operators and dangerous environments
  • Helping to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of employees and the public
  • Improving working relationships, attendance and productivity
  • Clearly communicating company expectations
  • A drug and alcohol testing programme within your workplace will help enforce the principles of your substance misuse policy and to monitor employee compliance to policy rules.
  • Improving your company reputation (compliance with customer policies)

Screening is an Essential Part of Any Policy

A drug and alcohol testing programme within your workplace will help enforce the principles of your substance misuse policy and to monitor employee compliance to policy rules. Testing brings many benefits including:

  • An effective deterrent against misuse
  • Provision of a definitive answer in the form of a test result following suspicion of misuse
  • An on-going reminder to employees that substance misuse is unacceptable
  • On-going monitoring of employee compliance with policy rules

There are a series of screening options available to you. These include:

  • Pre-employment screening, this can be incorporated into a medical or stand-alone and used to identify potential problems with employees.
  • Whole workforce or random screening, this is used to test staff members who may work in a safety critical position or anyone driving plant machinery.
  • Emergency Callout. We have partners who will respond with 24 hours.

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Which Drugs Do We Test For?

Drug Classes Available for Oral Fluid Confirmation Testing are as follows:

  • Amphetamines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opiates
  • 6-Monoacetylmorphine (heroin specific)
  • THC (Cannabis)

Oral Fluid

Oral fluid tests detect drugs that have been taken over the last 2 days. Urine tests detect drugs that have been taken over the last 5 to 7 days.
The main advantage of oral tests is that no special facilities are required to carry out the test procedure.

Urine Tests

We do carry out urine tests on request but the chain of custody process has to be observed. This can be explained upon request.

Breath Alcohol Testing

MHS use a device that measures alcohol in breath. Our instrument is UK Home Office and DfT approved and used by police forces throughout the world.
Our collection officers are equipped with breath alcohol testing devices and are able to provide test results to the highest levels of defensibility.

Medication

Medication – whether prescribed or bought over-the-counter – may temporarily affect a worker’s fitness to operate workplace transport. Workplace transport operators should

  • ask their general practitioner or pharmacist about the effects any medication may have on their ability to drive safely;
  • tell their employer if there is a risk of adverse effects which may compromise safety

They may need to stop operating workplace transport until the nature and extent of any side effects have been established.

Alcohol and illicit drugs

No worker should drive or operate vehicles or machinery at work if they have taken alcohol or illicit drugs. There is advice for employers on alcohol and drugs in

  • Don’t mix it: A guide for employers on alcohol at work
  • Drug misuse at work: A guide for employers