SDC Builders – the £185 million main contractor that undertakes construction projects across a variety of sectors, including research and development, commercial, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and education – is now using innovative fingerprint drug testing to test staff and subcontractors across its sites.
After only adopting the Intelligent Fingerprinting system in August 2020, the company has already completed over 250 tests in-house compared to the previous year’s total of fifty tests, which were carried out by an external provider. This increase in volume – made possible due to the Intelligent Fingerprinting system’s suitability for in-house drug testing – has reduced testing and sample collection costs, and made the whole process much easier to operate. In turn, this has enabled a more proactive approach by SDC Builders to its drug policy and health and safety obligations, while also ensuring a stronger deterrent against employee drug use at work.
The portable unit enables SDC to run their own in-house testing programme – carrying out tests at sites across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Testing takes place for a number of purposes, including random testing to encourage adherence to the company’s drug policy, as well as ‘for cause’ or post-incident testing. This activity helps to ensure that employees are fit for duty and ready to operate heavy construction machinery around their colleagues and the public.
Previously, third party drug tests cost SDC more than the Intelligent Fingerprinting system, with inevitable productivity implications as it took a couple of hours for the testing service provider to arrive on site. In contrast, the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting system is always available to the business, so a member of the health and safety team can carry out immediate testing when required.
“During the first wave of the pandemic we were looking for alternatives to our drug testing provision. Understandably, we wanted to restrict people from visiting our sites, so our incumbent third-party drug testing provider was seen as an additional risk to our workforce, particularly as they operated saliva-based tests. We discovered that Intelligent Fingerprinting’s approach would allow us to carry out tests ourselves with results on site within just 10 minutes. Critically, in today’s times, we also feel that this is a safer test as there isn’t any exposure to saliva or urine samples and the test can be conducted while social distancing, and with masks worn at all times.
It’s important that our testing process acts as an ongoing deterrent to employee and operative drug use and is applied fairly across the business. We started the process at the top by testing our Directors. Our office staff were next, and we’re now actively visiting our construction sites to carry out random workforce testing. We believe this is an important part of our commitment to fulfilling our health and safety obligations – both to our employees and the wider public – and with Intelligent Fingerprinting’s solution we’re able to carry this out efficiently and cost-effectively.
We’ve been using the Intelligent Fingerprinting system for several months now. It is a faster process and has reduced operational costs compared to our previous third-party testing service. Also, because the equipment is always accessible and portable, we have been able to ramp up our testing activity.”
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