New fingerprint drug test simplifies Health & Safety/Duty of Care responsibilities for manufacturers


Fingerprint drug test for manufacturers

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New fingerprint drug test simplifies Health & Safety/Duty of Care responsibilities for manufacturers

  • First fingerprint-based system to support end-to-end drug testing, from pre-employment screens and random machinery operator drug tests to post-accident investigations
  • New technique helps manufacturers to deliver on Health & Safety/Drug Usage policies as well as Duty of Care obligations

Intelligent Fingerprinting is bringing new levels of convenience, hygiene and speed to workplace drug testing for the manufacturing industry with the availability of a simple, end-to-end drug testing solution based on fingerprint sweat analysis.

Unlike traditional urine or saliva-based drug tests that can be invasive, time-consuming and undignified for testers and employees, the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting drug testing solution is quick and easy to deploy wherever it is needed across a manufacturer’s own operation or their extended supply chain. The fingerprint-based system supports all forms of workplace drug testing including pre-employment screening as well as random and for-cause testing, whether in the office or before/after shifts for production line workers, heavy machinery operators, forklift or delivery drivers.

The new end-to-end system features an initial screening test that works by analysing sweat from a fingerprint to determine if an employee has recently used cocaine, opiates, amphetamines or cannabis. Sample collection takes only five seconds, with simultaneous screening results for all four drug groups provided in just eight minutes.

Should an employee or contractor’s initial screen provide a positive result for any of the four drugs tested – in contravention of a manufacturing firm’s existing Health and Safety or drug misuse policy – the tester would then use Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis to collect samples for a confirmation test. The kit for the laboratory confirmation service includes everything required to securely send the collected samples to the testing laboratory,  including a tamper-evident security bag, barcodes to maintain anonymous sample identity and a postage-paid returns envelope.

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates said: “Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, manufacturers have a duty of care to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees, so an effective drug screening and testing service should be a critical element of any workplace drug policy. With the increasingly complex machinery used in today’s manufacturing businesses, employers are under increased pressure to make sure that operating personnel are fit to operate it to ensure safety to themselves and other colleagues. With almost 1 in 10 UK workers admitting to recent drug use [1], and 16% of UK employers saying that they have had suspicions about staff members being under the influence of drugs [2], it is clear that drug misuse remains a serious concern when it comes to health and safety in the manufacturing workplace.

“However, it’s also essential that manufacturers and their employees are completely confident in the accuracy of their drug testing procedures, regardless of whether they’re testing urine, saliva or sweat,” added Paul Yates. “For this reason, a laboratory confirmation test should always be carried out following a positive screening result. With our non-invasive system – which combines the portable reader with the simple one-touch drug screening cartridge, and the unequivocal results offered with our Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis – manufacturing firms can now benefit from the flexibility and ease-of-use of fingerprint-based drug testing, while also being completely confident about the end-to-end reliability of their process.”

Fingerprint-based drug testing for manufacturers – how it works

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s end-to-end drug testing solution for manufacturers features a single-use, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge that takes just five seconds to collect a sweat sample. The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines in under ten minutes.

Should an employee’s initial screen prove positive for any of the four drugs tested – in contravention of a firm’s drug policy – two further samples for confirmation are gathered using the Intelligent Fingerprinting Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis. Informed written consent is obtained from the donor prior to sample collection, along with a statement of the donor’s prescription medication, if applicable.

Once the confirmatory samples have been collected, the Fingerprint Collection Cartridges are sent in a tamper-evident security bag to Intelligent Fingerprinting’s partner laboratory for analysis. The laboratory then provides manufacturing firms with a quantitative laboratory result in the form of a Certificate of Analysis.

To see fingerprint drug testing in action, watch our introductory video:

[1] United Kingdom drug situation: annual report to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) 2012. Department of Health.
[2] Synergy Health survey: survey of 200 medium to large sized covering approximately 26,000 employees (2014):


For media information contact Cheryl Billson at Comma
Email:  Tel: +44 (0)7791 720460

About Intelligent Fingerprinting
Launched in August 2017, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable Drug Screening System works by analysing the sweat from a fingerprint sample. It is non-invasive, fast and cost-effective – screening for multiple drug groups simultaneously (currently amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates) with sample collection taking 5 seconds and results in minutes. A laboratory confirmation service is also available.

The system is currently being marketed to the criminal justice arena, drug rehabilitation services, offender management, workplace and occupational health services. The technique has potential for many other uses including healthcare diagnostics and homeland security applications.

Founded in 2007, Intelligent Fingerprinting is a spin-out company from the University of East Anglia (UEA).  The company is based in Cambridge, England and currently employs around 30 people. Twitter @iFingerprinting

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