Retail sector businesses can now maintain social distancing when drug testing thanks to fingerprint test


Retail Sector Social Distancing Drug Test Customers

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Retail sector businesses can now maintain social distancing when drug testing thanks to fingerprint test

  • Easy sample collection in under a minute removes the need for close proximity during testing
  • Face masks can be worn throughout the process, with no exposure to biohazardous body fluids

With online retail sales booming, and the high street retail sector now open for business it’s incumbent on retail operations to make every effort to protect their workforce from COVID-19 transmission. This also applies to all aspects of their back-office operations, where working practices are being adjusted to reduce risk to the lowest practicable levels. Drug testing is an essential health and safety consideration for the retail sector, particularly across its warehousing and fulfilment operations where fitness for duty testing remains a critical health and safety concern.

According to Intelligent Fingerprinting, the traditional workplace drug testing methods used by many retailers present challenges while still complying with social distancing. Oral fluid tests require the collection of an individual’s saliva, and urine drug tests also involve the handling of biohazardous samples. In contrast, the 10-minute fingerprint drug testing method, which works by collecting an employee’s fingerprint sweat samples onto a small drug screening cartridge, is non-invasive and meets the Government’s key guidelines for supporting social distancing while at work by:

  • Enabling employees to self-administer their own fingerprint sample collection, allowing them to keep at least 2m away from the tester
  • Avoiding close face-to-face contact or handling of biohazardous body fluids as there’s no requirement for oral swabs or urine sample collection
  • Allowing those being tested to wear protective face masks throughout the drug testing process – unlike saliva tests where masks need to be removed to collect an oral swab sample
  • Removing the need for prolonged proximity during testing as sample collection takes just one minute, with results available in 10 minutes

“Most UK retailers are now open for business while complying with Government guidelines for social distancing, with employees – where possible – wearing a face covering when in an enclosed space. Ensuring safe and hygienic drug testing while minimising the amount of time you spend in close proximity doesn’t have to be a complex challenge,” explained Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates. “Fingerprint testing not only helps solve these issues, but the process is really simple, easy to operate and hygienic to use. The test supervisor and the person being tested can remain socially distant at all times and also wear masks throughout.

“And, because fingerprint testing is so quick and easy to deploy, retailers can take control of their own drug testing by conducting the process in-house without the requirement for expensive external testing providers to come on-site,” he added.

Fingerprint drug testing, which screens for drug use in the past 14 to 16 hours, is particularly applicable for fitness for duty workplace testing. The system is portable and simple to administer so there’s no need for any special preparation, enabling retailers to carry out testing themselves in a safe location.

Socially distant drug testing for retailers – how it works in practice
Fingerprint-based testing is simple, easy to operate and hygienic to use. The test supervisor and the person being tested can remain socially distant and, if required, wear face coverings at all times. The person taking the test simply removes the fingerprint drug screening cartridge from its wrapper, presses all ten fingerprints in succession onto the sample pad, and then slides the tamper-evident cover across to protect the sample from any interference. The employee then steps away to allow the tester to collect the cartridge and insert it into Intelligent Fingerprinting’s DSR-Plus mobile reader for results analysis in 10 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 30 people.

Twitter @iFingerprinting

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