Testing workers for drugs and alcohol can sometimes be controversial, but it can also be a vital part of your safety program.
Our collectors are certified through the Drug & Alcohol Testing Association of Canada (DATAC)
When should you drug test?
There are a variety of prompts to conduct testing. Depending the nature of your business, a drug and alcohol can include any or all of the following:
Job applicants must pass a test as a condition of nal job o er, or as a condition of certification to a position with the company.
Employees must pass a test before being assigned a new position that is risk- or safety-sensitive, or as a condition of assignment to a particular high-risk operating area or worksite.
Employees are tested at some regular, announced time, such as at the employee’s annual medical exam.
After an incident
Employees are tested after an accident, potential accident, or 'near miss'
When a supervisor has concerns about an employee's behaviour, they might request a drug and alcohol test
Testing may be a part of a monitoring program to support the continued recovery of an employee after treatment for substance abuse.
Employees are tested as a condition of continued employment after a policy violation, usually set out in an agreement. The time of testing is not announced beforehand.
Workers are selected at random, usually from the pool of those employed in safety-sensitive positions. After the test, their names are returned to the pool and still subject to selection
How should you conduct testing?
Alberta Safety First Can helps you select and manage a program involving oral fluid, urine or hair testing. There are a few options when it comes to selecting a testing medium. There is advantages and disadvantages in each category. Please find below for more information.
Drugs ingested orally or smoked can get caught in the mucosa and will be detected by an Oral Fluid Test. The oral mucosa refers to the mucous membrane of the mouth.
Reduced donor embrarrassment,
Detection times of recently used drugs are significantly improved
Minimizes the chance of adulteration or substitution
Narrower drug detection window
Less fluid sample size
More cost effective than laboratory screening
Can be used in remote areas where shipping specimens to a laboratory may be difficult.
Potential for adulteration or substitution
Certain types of Point-of-care-Testing (POCT) devices can be costly
Positive results require laboratory confirmation
Drug molecules are deposited into the hair shaft via blood transport. Fixed to the hair, the drug molecules move with the hair as it grows away from the head. Hair follicles specimens are normally collected from the head of the donor. If an insufficient amount of head hair is available, body hair can also be used but is not preferred.
Reduced donor embarrassment
Extended detection window
No point-of-care screening (must go to lab)
Can be costly if insufficient amount of hair is provided
What drug groups should you include in your testing?
There are a number of drug groups that can impact your business. The images below highlight some of the most common, but depending on your workforce or industry, you might also be interested in anabolic steroids, synthetic cannabinoids or cathinones, or other substances. Alberta Safety First can work with you to develop a testing program that meets your needs, and follow the Canadian Model.
If you would like to discuss tailoring an effective drug and alcohol program to meet your organization’s needs, contact Albert Safety First today!