SDC Builders ramps up in-house drug screening with fingerprint drug test


Intelligent Fingerprinting Fingerprint Drug Screening Cartridge Construction Social Distancing

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SDC Builders ramps up in-house drug screening with fingerprint drug test

  • Easy to use, rapid system enables increased random testing to deter drug use and promote a safer workplace
  • “Gives us the immediate, in-house control we need to test as often as we want, including on suspicion or post-incident, with no delay waiting for a third party tester to arrive… Using the Intelligent Fingerprinting system, we tested over 100 people in one day at our Head Office” – SDC Builders

SDC Builders – the £185 million main contractor that undertakes construction projects across a variety of sectors, including research and development, commercial, manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and education – is now using innovative fingerprint drug testing to test staff and subcontractors across its sites.

After only adopting the Intelligent Fingerprinting system in August 2020, the company has already completed over 250 tests in-house compared to the previous year’s total of fifty tests, which were carried out by an external provider. This increase in volume – made possible due to the Intelligent Fingerprinting system’s suitability for in-house drug testing – has reduced testing and sample collection costs, and made the whole process much easier to operate. In turn, this has enabled a more proactive approach by SDC Builders to its drug policy and health and safety obligations, while also ensuring a stronger deterrent against employee drug use at work.

Intelligent Fingerprinting’s simple, hygienic test delivers a result within 10 minutes and works by analysing fingerprint sweat to determine if an employee has recently taken certain drugs. The portable unit enables SDC to run their own in-house testing programme – carrying out tests at sites across Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Testing takes place for a number of purposes, including random testing to encourage adherence to the company’s drug policy, as well as ‘for cause’ or post-incident testing. This activity helps to ensure that employees are fit for duty and ready to operate heavy construction machinery around their colleagues and the public.

SDC explained: “During the first wave of the pandemic we were looking for alternatives to our drug testing provision. Understandably, we wanted to restrict people from visiting our sites, so our incumbent third-party drug testing provider was seen as an additional risk to our workforce, particularly as they operated saliva-based tests. We discovered that Intelligent Fingerprinting’s approach would allow us to carry out tests ourselves with results on site within just 10 minutes. Critically, in today’s times, we also feel that this is a safer test as there isn’t any exposure to saliva or urine samples and the test can be conducted while social distancing, and with masks worn at all times.’’

“We’ve been using the Intelligent Fingerprinting system for several months now. It is a faster process and has reduced operational costs compared to our previous third-party testing service,” added SDC. “Also, because the equipment is always accessible and portable, we have been able to ramp up our testing activity.”

Previously, third party drug tests cost SDC more than the Intelligent Fingerprinting system, with inevitable productivity implications as it took a couple of hours for the testing service provider to arrive on site. In contrast, the portable Intelligent Fingerprinting system is always available to the business, so a member of the health and safety team can carry out immediate testing when required.

According to SDC: “It’s important that our testing process acts as an ongoing deterrent to employee and operative drug use and is applied fairly across the business. We started the process at the top by testing our Directors. Our office staff were next, and we’re now actively visiting our construction sites to carry out random workforce testing. We believe this is an important part of our commitment to fulfilling our health and safety obligations – both to our employees and the wider public – and with Intelligent Fingerprinting’s solution we’re able to carry this out efficiently and cost-effectively.”

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 SDC Builders

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