Sewer company turns to fingerprint drug testing


Public Sewer Services

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Sewer company turns to fingerprint drug testing

  • “Fingerprint method more reliable than saliva test, where we kept getting invalid samples, wasting valuable tests” – Gavin Greenfield, HSEQ Manager, Public Sewer Services
  • “No one likes paperwork, and the whole process is significantly easier with Intelligent Fingerprinting”

Drainage experts, Public Sewer Services, has upgraded its workplace drug testing operations by adopting the innovative Intelligent Fingerprinting drug testing system. Managed in-house, the test uses simple fingerprint sweat to quickly determine if an individual has recently ingested cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis or opiates – all of which can affect an employee’s or contractor’s ability to work safely and/or operate machinery in dangerous environments.

Public Sewer Services was looking for a replacement drug testing method for its incumbent saliva test. The saliva testing product was proving difficult to use, with Public Sewer Services conducting several tests that were spoiled and provided inconclusive results.

Gavin Greenfield, HSEQ Manager at Public Sewer Services said: “We were looking for an alternative to saliva drug testing as we had a run of saliva tests being ruined due to ‘dry mouth’ (lack of saliva). This was frustrating as it was not only wasting the drug test products, but also the Safety Manager’s time and the productivity associated with employees having to take time away from their roles for testing. Saliva tests were taking us about 35 minutes each, end-to-end. In contrast we are finding that the end-to-end fingerprint testing method is really quick, with sample collection taking seconds and results available within only ten minutes. So, it’s a big efficiency gain for Public Sewer Services. After only a couple of weeks, the Intelligent Fingerprinting method is proving more reliable for us than saliva tests, particularly given our previous issue with inconclusive tests.”

“When we heard about the fingerprint drug test we were really surprised by the simplicity of the concept and the potential efficiency of testing using fingerprint sweat for the sample. It almost seemed too good to be true. However, the science is proven and the results speak for themselves,” continued Gavin. “We were able to roll the process out quickly, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the accompanying processes – no one likes paperwork, and the whole workplace drug testing task is significantly easier with Intelligent Fingerprinting. I found the paperwork for the saliva test we were using cumbersome, with too many tick boxes needed to ensure adherence to the testing process. In contrast, the fingerprint test is remarkably easy to use, and time-saving results labels can be printed immediately and added to the employee’s paperwork. There is just one A4 form per donor to complete for both the initial screening test and, if ever required, the confirmation test. This makes our jobs much easier and tests are far simpler to administer.”

Dr Paul Yates of Intelligent Fingerprinting added: “Public Sewer Services is another great example of workplace drug testing – in this case for random, pre-employment and for cause testing. A workplace drug testing process needs to be as easy and accessible as possible, and that is how we have designed our system from end-to-end – managed in-house, with rapid sample collection and results, portable, hygienic, time and cost-efficient. I am really pleased that Public Sewer Services are switching to this more modern and convenient way of drug testing.”

Fingerprint-based drug testing – how it works
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug testing system features a small, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge onto which ten fingerprint sweat samples are collected, in a process which takes less than a minute. The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for all drugs in the test in ten minutes.

An introductory video demonstrating fingerprint-based drug testing in action is available here.


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

About Intelligent Fingerprinting
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable Drug Screening System works by analysing fingerprint sweat. It is non-invasive, fast and cost-effective, with sample collection taking seconds and simultaneous screening for multiple drug groups in ten minutes. A laboratory confirmation service is also available.

The system has applications within many sectors and customers include employers in safety-critical industries such as construction, transport and logistics firms, drug treatment and family safeguarding organisations, as well as UK coroners. The company has distributors across the globe, including the USA.

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 employs around 40 people.

Twitter @iFingerprinting

About Public Sewer Services
Public Sewer Services has been providing top quality drainage services across England for over 25 years. The company provides an in-house, one-stop solution for all aspects of water and drainage, including traditional open cut excavation, tankering, CCTV, blockage clearance and root cutting.

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