World’s first fingerprint drug test available for UK railway sector

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World’s first fingerprint drug test available for UK railway sector

  • Rowe Hankins to offer non-invasive drug test that uses fingerprint sweat instead of the biohazardous urine and saliva tests currently used in the rail sector
  • “Fingerprint drug testing provides the railway sector with on-site initial results in just minutes – including operators, maintainers, franchises, Train Operating Companies, rail vehicle providers and all railway contractors,” Mike Hankins, MD, Rowe Hankins

The world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug test – which works by analysing sweat from fingerprints to determine if someone has recently used cocaine, opiates, amphetamines or cannabis – is now available to support non-regulated drug testing in the UK railway sector. Rowe Hankins – a rail safety systems manufacturer has partnered with Intelligent Fingerprinting to market the company’s revolutionary non-invasive drug test to operators and other organisations across the UK rail industry.

The Intelligent Fingerprinting system features an initial screening test that works by analysing sweat from fingerprints. The test can be used to determine if a driver or railway employee has recently used any of the drugs in the test, which could put the safety of passengers, colleagues or themselves at risk. Sample collection takes seconds, with simultaneous screening results available in ten minutes for all the drugs tested.

According to Mike Hankins, Rowe Hankins Managing Director: “The UK railway sector, quite rightly, has a zero tolerance on employee drug and alcohol usage. This is to ensure the safety of passengers on public transport as well as staff across the networks. Drug testing is widespread, however current testing relies on potentially invasive and biohazardous approaches that use urine and saliva. Additionally, common testing practice is highly disruptive and this has an impact on efficiency.

“In contrast, the Intelligent Fingerprinting test is non-invasive and is a portable solution so can be taken to different locations and deliver results in minutes on site – enabling less disruption to working schedules, unlocking efficiency savings and potentially allowing more tests to take place. In addition, the approach is in line with the latest TUC drug screening advice that recommends a test that is as non-invasive as possible, and that also offers a short window of detection to increase the possibility of picking up individuals who have used drugs recently and are at an increased risk of being impaired. We’re excited to be working with Intelligent Fingerprinting to offer this innovative approach, and early discussions have shown that our customers are quick to realise the potential benefits of fingerprint-based drug testing,” he added.

Paul Yates, Director at Intelligent Fingerprinting added: “We are delighted that the Rowe Hankins team is going to start marketing our innovative solution to the industry. The fingerprint test offers a number of clear advantages for the sector – from both an employee and an employer perspective.”

Fingerprint-based drug testing – how it works

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s end-to-end drug testing solution features a small, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge for fingerprint sample collection. Once the sample has been collected, the Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for cocaine, opiates, cannabis and amphetamines in ten minutes.

Following a positive drug screening result, the company’s Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis enables the tester to collect additional fingerprint samples for laboratory confirmation. These samples are sent for analysis at an accredited laboratory using the tamper-evident security bag and pre-paid returns envelope provided in the kit.

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


For media information contact Cheryl Billson at Comma
Email: cheryl.billson@commacomms.com  Tel: +44 (0)7791 720460

About Rowe Hankins

Rowe Hankins is a rail safety systems manufacturer based at Bury, Greater Manchester, since 1986. The company works with rolling stock manufacturers, train operating companies, track owners and infrastructure contractors. The organisation is a specialist in the design and manufacture of components used within safety-critical systems and the distribution of electro-mechanical products for railways. The company has an £8 million turnover and exports to 15 countries – principally China and the USA.

About Intelligent Fingerprinting

Launched in 2017, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable Drug Screening System works by analysing fingerprint sweat. It is non-invasive, fast and cost-effective – screening for multiple drug groups simultaneously (currently amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates) 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 employs around 30 people.
www.intelligentfingerprinting.com Twitter @iFingerprinting

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