7-point checklist helps employers meet new TUC ‘Drug Testing in the Workplace’ guidance
- Addressing union concerns around drug testing in the workplace
- Support in selecting an optimal approach for workplace drug testing to secure union consent
Intelligent Fingerprinting, developers of the world’s first portable fingerprint-based drug testing system, has produced a 7-point checklist for UK-based organizations keen to ensure that their workplace drug and alcohol policies meet the TUC’s new ‘Drug Testing in the Workplace’ guidance. In the US, the system is currently available for forensic use only.
In its guidance the TUC stresses the importance for any drug testing to be part of an employer’s drugs and alcohol policy, and also that testing should be fair, open and non-judgemental. Intelligent Fingerprinting believes that combining the TUC’s guidance with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Employment Practices Data Protection Code provides a useful framework for employers looking to introduce a workplace drug testing programme that would secure union consent.
The Intelligent Fingerprinting checklist is intended to illustrate how fingerprint-based drug testing matches the TUC and ICO’s requirements. The areas covered include:
- Using the least intrusive forms of testing practicable to deliver the benefits to the business that the testing is intended to bring
- Limiting testing to those substances and extent of exposure that will have a significant bearing on the purpose(s) for which the testing is being conducted
- Ensuring that drug testing is carried out by a laboratory accredited by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS)
- Conducting testing as part of an effective and agreed workplace policy focused on supporting those employees with drug and alcohol problems
- Supporting the requirement for privacy when employees are required to provide a sample as part of drug testing activities
Commenting on the checklist, Intelligent Fingerprinting’s Dr Paul Yates said: “according to TUC guidance: ‘the biggest criticism of any form of drug testing is that it does not tell an employer what they want to know, which is whether someone is, or was, under the influence of drugs while at work’. It’s a compelling point and whilst no drug test can prove impairment, fingerprint-based testing, with its shorter window of detection when compared to more intrusive urine and oral fluid tests, can provide organisations with a simple and dignified way of identifying potential employee drug use in the period immediately before or during their working shift. We believe that our distinctive drug testing approach not only addresses the TUC’s recommendations when it comes to the successful delivery of workplace drug and alcohol policies, but also does this in the least intrusive and dignified way – making it an optimal drug test method for workplace drug testing.”
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable fingerprint-based drug test, which works by analysing sweat from fingerprints to determine if someone has recently used cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines or cannabis, offers an innovative non-invasive solution to the challenges of workplace drug testing. Indeed, when mapped against the ICO’s good practice recommendations and the TUC’s drug testing checklist, provides employers with the approach that will help them best address potential union concerns around drug testing.
Fingerprint-based drug testing – how it works
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug testing solution features a small, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge which takes just seconds to collect fingerprint sweat samples. The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for cocaine, opiates, cannabis and methamphetamines in ten minutes.
Should an employee’s initial screening test prove positive for any of the four drugs tested – in contravention of a firm’s drug and alcohol policy – two further sets of fingerprint samples are gathered for confirmation testing using the Intelligent Fingerprinting Fingerprint Collection Kit for Laboratory Analysis. Informed written consent is obtained from the donor prior to sample collection, along with a statement of the donor’s prescription medication, if applicable.
Once confirmation samples have been collected, the Fingerprint Collection Cartridges are sent to Intelligent Fingerprinting’s partner laboratory for analysis. The UKAS accredited laboratory provides the customer with a quantitative laboratory result in the form of a Certificate of Analysis.
An introductory video demonstrating fingerprint-based drug testing in action is available here.
For media information contact Cheryl Billson at Comma
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (currently methamphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates) 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 organizations, as well as UK coroners. The company has distributors across the globe, including the USA (where the system is currently available for forensic use only).
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.