Fingerprint drug test used to support Nottingham CityFibre project


McCann drug testing

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Fingerprint drug test used to support Nottingham CityFibre project

  • Innovative on-site test uses fingerprint sweat sample to deliver results within minutes – eliminating possibility of cheating
  • Social distancing compliant test determines if construction employees have recently ingested opiates, methamphetamine, cocaine or cannabis

McCann Ltd, a Nottingham-based civil and electrical engineering construction company, is starting to use innovative fingerprint drug testing as part of its broader Health and Safety activities. This month McCann is starting to test new employees as part of the company’s induction process. Employees must pass the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug test before starting working on the major £60m Nottingham CityFibre contract, where McCann is supporting the delivery of the infrastructure to turn Nottingham into a Gigabit City with access to fibre.

The Intelligent Fingerprinting test enables the entire drug testing process to be handled entirely in-house with results available within minutes – avoiding time away from site for testing. Candidates are simply asked to press each fingertip onto a small drug test cartridge to enable the rapid collection of a sweat sample. The cartridge is then placed in the portable DSR-Plus reader that analyses the cartridge and provides a positive or negative screening result for each drug in the test. McCann is screening for recent use of opiates, methamphetamine, cocaine or cannabis that could affect an employee and make them unfit for duty. The system is easy to use with virtual training for McCann’s team completed within an hour.

Ben Feltham, Quality and Lean Manager of McCann said: “McCann operates throughout the UK on major road, rail and airport infrastructure projects for public and private sector clients. Our commitment to site safety has to be robust for both employees and the contractors under our responsibility. We previously used a saliva swab indicative drug test for initial for cause testing. If this proved positive, we then had to find an off-site 24-hour lab to provide a urine test for a final result. In some cases this has required a McCann HSEQ Manager being assigned to escort the operative being tested. As well as the obvious reluctance to carry out saliva swabs during a pandemic, there was a significant loss of time involved in escorting operatives for off-site second sample testing and waiting for results.

“Also, we unfortunately encountered a contractor attempting to cheat the urine sample test at the offsite testing facility. With all of these negatives for traditional saliva- and urine-based drug testing methods, we were keen to strengthen our drug policy adherence by finding an alternative drug testing approach that would prove more robust against cheating. That’s why we were pleased to have discovered Intelligent Fingerprinting!

“There are significant advantages with the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug test. We can bring the testing in-house – taking the samples and providing the results within minutes. In contrast to the offsite urine test method, we really can’t see any room for cheating to take place. It is also a relief not to have to handle saliva samples during a pandemic, particularly as this involved operatives having to remove their masks and inevitable close proximity. With Intelligent Fingerprinting’s method, face coverings can be worn at all times, while there’s no need for close contact or handling of biohazardous body fluids.

“From a productivity point of view, with results on site within minutes we are also making significant time savings – enabling us to get on with running our business. We made the decision to purchase Intelligent Fingerprinting early this year and have quickly got the system up and running. We are testing the 20+ new starters on our Nottingham CityFibre project every week as part of the onboarding process and of course have the Intelligent Fingerprinting system at our disposal if we are ever required to deploy it to support for cause testing,” he concluded.

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 McCann Ltd
McCann Ltd is a leading civil and electrical engineering construction company that operates throughout the UK on major road, rail and airport infrastructure projects for public and private sector clients. McCann provides its clients with integrated infrastructure solutions that meet business needs and exceed expectations. Alongside its excellent record for reliability, McCann Ltd is extremely proud of its ongoing commitment to employee safety and industry compliance.

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