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By Australia Drug Testing / November 10, 2023

By Australia Drug Testing / November 10, 2023

How to Choose the Right Drug Testing Kit for Your Business

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As a business owner, you need to be aware that substance abuse can be a significant problem in the workplace, which can have a negative impact on your employees’ well-being and productivity, as well as your overall business success. Drug abuse can lead to increased absenteeism, accidents, injuries, and reduced job performance.

According to recent research, drug and alcohol use in Australian workplaces leads to a significant loss in productivity, estimated to be around $6 billion annually. The study has also found that drinking and drug use results in the loss of approximately 2.5 million working days per year, which costs more than $680 million.

One way to prevent drug abuse and ensure a safe and productive work environment is by using drug testing kits.

However, it’s important to choose the right drug testing kit to obtain accurate and reliable results while complying with legal requirements. Additionally, having a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy is crucial to clearly communicate your expectations to your employees and establish consequences for any violations.

In this article, we will guide you on how to select the appropriate drug testing kit for your business.

Types of Drug Testing Kits

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1. Urine Drug Testing Kits

Urine drug testing kits are a popular way to detect drug use in the workplace. The process involves collecting a urine sample from the individual and analysing it for the presence of specific drugs or drug metabolites. Here’s what you need to know about urine drug testing kits:

How It works:

A urine drug test kit typically includes a test strip and urine collection cup. You can find the strip on the side of the cup as on the ECO™ II Cup, or attached to the lid as on the InnoScreen™ Cup. This strip contains specific chemical markers that react to the presence of certain drugs or their metabolites in the urine. If the test is positive, the strip will change colour, indicating the presence of the drug in the sample.

Pros:

  • Verified to the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4308:2008.
  • Urine drug testing kits are affordable and readily available.
  • They are non-invasive and easy to use.
  • They provide quick results, usually within a few minutes.
  • They can detect a wide range of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and more.
  • They have a long drug detection window of up to several days or weeks depending on the substance.
  • This makes them an excellent tool for detecting past drug use, monitoring drug treatment, and ensuring a drug-free workplace.

Cons:

  • A laboratory test may be required to validate the initial test result.
  • Not suitable for detecting recent drug use, as some drugs may not show up in urine for several hours after use.
  • Do not provide information on the quantity or frequency of drug use.

When It Is Suitable:

Urine drug testing kits are preferred for situations where there is a need for quick and easy drug testing, such as pre-employment screening, random drug testing, or for cause drug testing. They can also be used for personal drug testing at home.

2. Saliva Drug Testing Kits

Saliva drug testing kits are another common method of drug testing, particularly in workplaces where regular testing is required. They are easy to use and can provide quick and accurate results. If you are considering using these kits to enforce your workplace drug and alcohol free policy, there are a few things you should be aware of.

How It Works:

Saliva drug testing kits work by detecting the presence of drugs or their metabolites in the saliva. The First Sign Saliva Drug Test Kit comes with a collection stick/sponge, which is placed in the mouth and gently chewed to collect saliva. The collection stick with the saturated sponge is then inserted into the testing device, which gives results within a few minutes.

Saliva drug tests can detect a range of substances, including marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and opioids.

Pros:

  • One of the main advantages of saliva drug testing is its convenience. It is easy to administer. 
  • Saliva drug testing is also non-invasive and can be done on-site. 
  • Results are also available within minutes, which can help businesses make quick decisions about employee fitness for work. 
  • Additionally, the collection process is less invasive than other forms of drug testing, such as urine or blood tests.

Cons:

  • It has a shorter detection window compared to other types of drug testing. 
  • Drugs typically remain detectable in saliva for up to 48 hours, whereas some drugs, such as marijuana, can remain detectable in urine for up to 30 days. 
  • It may not detect low levels of drugs in the system.

When It Is Suitable:

Saliva drug testing is suitable for businesses that require regular drug testing of their employees. It is also preferable for businesses that need to conduct testing on-site or quickly, such as in safety-sensitive industries like aviation, construction, transportation, and several others.

Saliva drug testing kits are a reliable method for detecting recent drug use, making them effective at detecting impairment on the job. They are also a cost-effective option compared to other types of drug testing.

Blood and hair follicle tests are other options to consider. However, it’s important to note that they involve longer result turnaround times. Furthermore, hair follicle tests might not detect small, infrequent, or recent drug usage effectively. The process for a hair follicle test encompasses the collection of a small hair sample from the head, body, or facial region, which is then analysed for drug metabolites. This method is less appropriate for workplace drug testing and is better suited for assessing prolonged substance consumption. Additionally, the hair follicle test requires a laboratory analysis to determine any results compared to urine and saliva tests, which provide immediate, onsite results.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Drug Testing Kits for Your Business

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A. Compliance With Workplace Safety and Health Regulations

In some industries, such as aviation, mining and transportation, it has become acceptable to conduct drug and alcohol testing. However, it is not mandatory under the Health and Safety Work Act 2011 to mandate drug and alcohol testing. In saying that employers still have a responsibility to maintain safe and healthy working environments. 

“As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to comply with these regulations and ensure that your workplace is free from potential hazards, including drug use by employees. Failing to comply with these regulations could result in fines, legal action, and damage to your business’s reputation.” 

Therefore, it’s essential to choose drug testing kits that comply with Australian standards and regulations and ensure that they are being used in accordance with workplace safety and occupational health guidelines. By doing so, you can help protect the well-being of your employees and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.

B. Accredited Laboratories Providers

Accredited laboratory providers are another crucial factor to consider when selecting drug testing kits for your business. These providers offer reliable and accurate drug testing services that can be trusted to produce valid results. It is important to ensure that the laboratory provider is accredited by a reputable organisation, such as the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA).

NATA is an independent organisation that ensures that laboratories comply with strict standards for quality and competence. It assesses the technical proficiency of laboratory staff, the quality of equipment used, and the accuracy of the testing methods employed. Laboratories that are accredited by NATA have met these rigorous standards and are deemed competent to carry out drug testing. Below are the Australian Standards for the legislative requirements that must be met by the testing laboratories.

  • AS/NZS 4308:2008 Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs of abuse in urine
  • AS 4760-2006 Procedures for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs in oral fluid
  • AS3547:1997 Breath Alcohol Testing Devices for Personal Use

C. Test Reliability

When selecting drug testing kits for your business, it’s important to keep in mind the reliability of the test. This refers to how consistent and accurate the results are. You want to make sure that the test results are dependable so that you can make informed decisions and take necessary action based on accurate information.

A reliable drug testing kit should produce consistent and accurate results regardless of the tester, the testing location, or the time of day. Factors that can impact test reliability include the quality of the drug testing kit, the handling and storage of the sample, and the training and experience of the testing personnel.

Choosing a drug testing kit from a reputable supplier, following proper sample collection and handling protocols, and ensuring adequate training of the testing personnel are crucial steps to maintain test reliability and ensure accurate results.

Administering a Workplace Drug Test Correctly

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Preparation

If you want to ensure reliable results and comply with legal requirements when administering a workplace drug test, there are some important steps you need to take. These steps will help you administer the test correctly and avoid any potential errors or issues that could compromise the accuracy of the results.

Step 1: Develop a Drug-Free Workplace Policy

Establishing a clear and comprehensive Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy is essential to ensure that employees understand the expectations and consequences of drug use in the workplace.

Step 2: Communicate the Policy to Employees

Communicate the policy to all your employees and ensure that they understand it. This can be done through training sessions, employee handbooks, or other forms of communication.

Step 3: Choose Appropriate Drug Testing Methods

There are different types of drug testing methods, such as urine, saliva, blood, and hair testing. Choose the method that is appropriate for your business needs and provides accurate and reliable results.

Step 4: Train the Testing Administrators

To ensure that drug tests are conducted correctly and that the results remain confidential, you should provide proper training to the administrators who will be conducting the tests.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that your workplace drug testing program is conducted correctly and effectively.

Collection Techniques

When it comes to administering a workplace drug test, proper collection technique is essential to ensure accurate results and maintain legal compliance. There are several common techniques used during drug testing to collect samples that can be tested for drug use.

  1. Urine Collection

This is the most common collection technique used during drug testing. A sterile cup is provided to the individual, who would provide a urine sample in a private collection area.

  1. Saliva Collection 

This technique involves collecting a saliva sample from an individual using a swab or sponge. Saliva collection is less invasive than blood collection and provides a shorter detection window for drug use.

Remember to follow proper protocols and procedures for sample collection. Also, ensure that you maintain the privacy and dignity of the person being tested during the collection process as it is essential for their occupational health and overall well-being.

Analysing the Results

Device Selection

Analysing the results of drug testing is crucial for determining whether an individual has used drugs or not. To ensure dependable outcomes, it is important to use drug testing devices that have been proven to be accurate and reliable. There are various types of drug testing devices available on the market, including urine, saliva, and hair tests.

Each type of device has its own advantages and limitations. So it is important to choose the right device based on the specific needs of your workplace. Additionally, it is important to use devices that have been approved by regulatory bodies and meet industry standards for accuracy and reliability.

By using dependable drug testing devices, you can be confident in the accuracy of your results and make informed decisions based on those results.

Interpreting the Outcome

When analysing outcome data, you need to develop clear guidelines to ensure that the results are interpreted accurately and consistently. One key factor to keep in mind is the threshold levels used to determine a positive result. These levels should be based on established industry standards and regulatory requirements.

It’s also important to consider any factors that may influence the results. These factors include medications or substances that can interfere with the test. To maintain confidentiality, only authorised personnel should have access to the results.

Finally, it is important to have a clear policy in place for responding to positive test results. Such policy may include providing support and resources for employees who may need assistance with substance abuse issues.

Conclusion

Selecting the right drug testing kit for your business is crucial to maintain a safe and productive workplace. Here are the key factors to consider to ensure you choose the right kit. Firstly, it’s important to comply with your Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy and ensure your employees are aware of it and its possible consequences.

Secondly, selecting a reliable drug testing kit known for its accuracy is crucial. Your organisation should opt for a kit that provides accurate results for the substances you want to test your employees for and that meets your specific workplace needs.

By following these guidelines, you can select a drug testing kit that promotes a drug-free workplace and ensures the safety of your employees

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