Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

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Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

Record level of alcohol deaths recorded during COVID-19 pandemic

22 March 2021

Deaths caused by alcohol consumption hit a new high during the first nine months of 2020, new figures for England and Wales show.

Between January and September, 5,640 deaths were registered with this cause – an increase of 16% on the same period in 2019. This significant increase has been the highest recorded figure since records began in 2001. The high rates spanned the period during and after the first national COVID-19 lockdown, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics.

As in past years, rates of male alcohol-specific deaths were twice those seen for women. Experts say the coronavirus pandemic will have had little effect on how the data was gathered and recorded. But it is not clear how much it may have contributed to the deaths.

A spokesman for ONS said:

“Today’s data shows that in the first three quarters of 2020, alcohol-specific deaths in England and Wales reached the highest level since the beginning of our data series, with April to September, during and after the first lockdown, seeing higher rates compared to the same period in previous years.”

“The reasons for this are complex and it will take time before the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on alcohol-specific deaths is fully understood.”

Effects of Alcohol

Alcohol’s impact on your body starts from the moment of consumption. While an occasional glass of wine or beer isn’t a cause for concern, the cumulative effects of drinking beer, wine or spirits can take its toll.

Excessive consumption can impact various parts of the body. Effects can range from weakening of the immune and digestive system, to inflammation and sugar level issues.

Our ‘Effects Of’ Series provides a range of educational posters that ca be displayed in workplaces. Click here to view them.

Did you know that alcohol misuse at work can:

  • increase sickness and absenteeism
  • harm the reputation of the business
  • decrease productivity
  • put employees and members of the public in unnecessary risk

Breath Testing in the Workplace

Handheld breathalysers are an ideal device for conducting workplace alcohol testing. Quick and easy testing provides an instant readout of the donor’s breath alcohol measurement.  Simply compare the reading to the cutoff defined in your own drug and alcohol testing policy.

Breathalyser devices gauge blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring deep lung air. This type of testing can accurately determine whether a person has recently consumed alcohol or is currently over the legal or pre-determined limit. Breathalyser calibrations are maintained in accordance with the manufacturers specifications and periodically accuracy checked to ensure results are accurate and reliable.

How Randox Testing Services can help

At Randox Testing Services, we are pleased to offer a range of stand-alone alcohol tests or combinations of tests to meet your needs.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.

Whether for use in workplace settings or for use in court proceedings for medico-legal cases, our range of alcohol testing methods will provide you with accurate and reliable results at competitive prices.

For more information on our alcohol testing services, or to request a quote, contact us using any of the below details.

Website: www.randoxtestingservices.com

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

For those who’ve beaten addiction in their own lives Rehab 4 Addiction is a free addiction helpline. Click here.

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Contact us or visit our website to read more.


The importance of drug and alcohol testing in uncertain times

The importance of drug and alcohol testing in uncertain times

01 February 2021

The ongoing pandemic has had a dramatic impact on daily life. COVID-19 has changed how we socialise, work and go about our daily routines. If infections continue to rise, we will all have to live with ongoing restrictions in some form or another for quite some time.

COVID-19 has altered the way which we consume, and drugs & alcohol are no exception. The closure of pubs and restaurants have meant that supermarket and off-licenses have seen alcohol sales soar due to drinking from home being the main way to consumer alcohol. Drug consumption has been affected, with supply chains being impacted due to lockdowns & limit on travel distances.

New studies have begun to emerge which highlight how consumption trends in relation to alcohol specifically have changed since COVID-19 begun.

Below are some of the key findings:

  • The Royal College of Psychiatrists analysed Public Health England data to reveal that over 8.4 million people are now drinking at a higher risk level – rising from 4.8 million in February; a 75% increase.
  • Data from the Commission on Alcohol Harms and the Alcohol Health Alliance revealed that alcohol sales rose by 67% before lockdown began.
  • An interim report from the Global Drug Survey (GDS) in early June revealed that COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown have changed people’s drinking habit.
  • 47% of Britons who drink stated that they had been drinking earlier in the day since lockdown started – a figure that was higher than for most other nations included in the survey.
  • In addition, over 50% of Britons revealed that they had increased the number of days on which they drink, with a third of British respondents also reporting an increase in binge drinking.
  • Alcohol Change commissioned a study that looked at drinking consumptions during lockdown in England.
  • One in five drinkers (21%) said they have been drinking more frequently since the lockdown. This equates to around 8.6 million UK adults who may be drinking more frequently.
  • 15% of those surveyed also said they have been drinking more per session since lockdown.

Business As Usual

The reason for highlighting the above figures is to show that, whilst for many lockdown meant adjusting to working from home, others business sectors continued to operate as normal. As such, workplace testing for drugs & alcohol shifted dramatically. Many companies who had a testing policy in place that included random testing suddenly stopped due to staff being based at home. However, other key sectors such as construction, manufacturing, logistics all continued to function. With these businesses continuing, Randox Testing Services (RTS) remains open and fully operational and available to carry out testing.

Michelle Fenn, Business Development Manager for RTS, commented on the changing testing trends that occurred;

“RTS continue to operate and provide full-service provision during the on-going pandemic. During the first lockdown we noticed a change in testing, as more companies operated on a work from home basis. However, for some this isn’t possible and have had to maintain operations. Due to circumstances, we have seen companies increase pre-employment testing as new staff are brought on to cope with changing workplace demands. Other testing programmes have been altered such as random testing, but we continue to provide full services and are meeting & often exceeding requirements by our customers.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, RTS have continued to provide drug & alcohol testing services. At all times, we have ensured our staff are equipped to provide sensible advice and flexible solutions to drug & alcohol testing.

We have provided each Collection Officer with full PPE to ensure they meet requirements for personal and professional safety. Full social distancing guidelines are always followed whilst conducting testing. We continue to advise and navigate companies through this period as more businesses return and testing is required.

Importance of testing

The stats mentioned at the top of this article highlight the changing nature of how people have consumed alcohol over the last 12 months. With increases being seen in both quantity of consumption and frequency, it is important that companies are aware of the potential dangers that may arise if a member of staff arrives to work intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

In addition to the alcohol stats, annual research is also carried out to highlight drug consumption patterns. According to research by Public Health England and the devolved nations Health Departments, the most recent surveys covering England, Wales and Scotland reported the highest prevalence of drug use in the past 10 years. From the most recent surveys, the prevalence of any drug use in the last year was 9.4% in England and Wales, 12% in Scotland, and 5.9% in Northern Ireland.

In September 2020, a report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction said Scotland had the highest recorded drug death rate in Europe, far ahead of Sweden in second place. More than 1,200 people in Scotland died of drug misuse in 2019.

The consumption of drugs & alcohol in these uncertain times can cause untold potential dangers for employers. Whilst many companies will continue to function with staff working remotely, for some this isn’t possible.

Safety-critical industries such as construction, manufacturing and logistics will have staff present who need to carry on with daily tasks. It is important to ensure that staff are always safe, this includes provision of testing for drugs & alcohol.

Risk of injury

Employers put in place multiple mechanisms to ensure accidents at work do not occur. Despite these efforts, it’s not always possible to remove the danger. In the UK, workplace injury amounted to £5.2 billion in costs/damages in 2017/18.

28.2 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2018/19. Furthermore, the construction, retail/wholesale, manufacturing, accommodation and agriculture had statistically higher rate of workplace injury per 100,000 workers according to the Labour Force Survey 2018/19.

These statistics highlight the dangers of accidents occurring in the workplace. With the potential for serious injury or worst-case scenario a fatal incident, it is of paramount importance to ensure employees are safe in the knowledge that accidents will not occur due to substance misuse or employees being under the influence.

Fully managed testing service

Randox Testing Services specialise in drug and alcohol testing for workplaces. We provide a quality service that covers all employer needs with the safety of employees at the centre of this focus.

Our experience in the industry and the knowledge of our parent company Randox Laboratories has allowed us to pivot our offering to provide fully compliant and safe COVID-19 testing for workplaces. In these uncertain times, COVID-19 can cause potentially devastating consequences if not correctly managed and addressed.

A new study by researchers at University College London revealed that 86% of people who tested positive for COVID-19 did not have symptoms, highlighting the importance of frequent screening to reduce spread of the virus.

Our COVID-19 test uses Real-Time PCR to accurately detect for the virus. With our knowledge & expertise in testing for workplace companies, we are proud to offer this service; with our test currently used as part of the Government’s National Testing Programme.

The service includes a range of different options, each designed to meet the needs of any business and their requirements. From a fully managed service where our trained and full PPE equipped Collection Officers will conduct testing on behalf of your company, to our mobile testing unit which can move to multiple sites and conduct large volume testing with results in less than three hours, we are confident our services can meet your needs. By using any of our testing services for COVID-19, you can provide peace of mind to employees by conducing regular testing or get your employees back to work as part of a return to work programme.

About Randox Testing Services

We specialise in testing. Whether that be for drugs & alcohol or COVID-19, we are confident that no matter what your testing needs, we will be able to fully understand your requirements and successfully help your company to reduce the impact of drugs & alcohol or COVID-19.

Employees are a company’s greatest asset. Therefore, it is important to ensure they are not exposed to any dangers such as someone potentially intoxicated from drug & alcohol consumption. RTS can help eradicate this danger, whilst helping your employees successfully understand how to mitigate the impacts of substance misuse, through managed testing programme and a range of training & education services to inform and educate staff.

Contact us today and speak with our experts who will provide more information about how testing works and the ways in which RTS can help your company.

E-mail: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

Web: www.randoxtestingservices.com

 

For those who’ve beaten addiction in their own lives Rehab 4 Addiction is a free addiction helpline. Click here.

 

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Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Testimonials: Randox Testing Services

24 November 2020

Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Testimonials : How Randox Testing Services can help

With the widespread availability of drugs and alcohol, there is an increased risk of substance abuse in the workplace leading to huge ramifications for a business and its employees. Jeopardising the safety of not only the user, but also their co-workers and in some cases the general public, it affects the whole business environment and puts those present at serious risk of harm.

RTS work with a wide range of companies who seek to reduce the impact of substance use and its potential impact in the workplace.

Below are several testimonials from companies we have helped to implement a testing programme – whether that be a drug and alcohol testing programme using different sample types and testing protocols, or an education initiative educating employees on the dangers of substance misuse when in the workplace.

Read the testimonials below.

 

McLaughlin & Harvey

McLaughlin & Harvey have engaged Randox Testing Services for our Random, With-Cause & Post Incident Drugs & Alcohol employee and contractor screening throughout UK & Ireland since 2017.

We have found RTS to be professional, reliable and highly competent in support of our drugs & alcohol testing programme. RTS have provided excellent on-site testing, customer service and reliable laboratory results when required.

RTS have consistently performed within our service level agreement and I would have no hesitation in recommending them for drug & alcohol testing services.

 

MacFarlane Packaging

In 2018, I was tasked with trialling new providers for our Drug and Alcohol testing for our Group. It was apparent quite early on that compared to some of the other leading providers we also tested, that Randox Testing Services outshone the rest.

The service has always been personal to our needs and consistent, which assists us in managing our responsibilities with confidence.

Along with the Drug and Alcohol Testing we have recently acquired a sample of COVID 19 testing kits to trial and again the service has been prompt and efficient.

I would have no hesitation in recommending Randox Testing Services to others.

 

Titan Airways

Randox Testing Services has consistently provided an excellent reliable, service, which has enabled us to have the necessary flexibility within our unique operation, to continue to operate and provide assurances to our customers during these challenging times.

Our account manager is exceptionally obliging and has been available to answer any questions or concerns to ensure a rapid response, not only in the delivery of products, but also providing a link with technicians who process our results. This gives us the reassurances and confidence to meet commercial demands.

The general quality of service is excellent and Randox Testing Services always go over and above to ensure they deliver the finest high-quality service to us.

 

H&MV Engineering

We have used Randox Testing Services (RTS) for the past 2 years. We have found their service to be very professional and all queries are dealt with swiftly and with integrity.

We look forward to continuing or relationship with RTS over the coming years.

 

Graham Construction

Graham Construction are proud to be partnered with Randox Testing Services as their main drug and alcohol service provider.

Over the years they have given a consistent, prompt, efficient and professional service that delivered what was promised, when promised, to the proper agreed standards, which assists us in managing our relevant responsibilities with ease and confidence.

We would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

 

Mabey Hire

Randox Testing Services have provided Mabey Hire with an exceptional service for workplace drug and alcohol testing for many years. You can speak to any member of the team from customer services, collection staff and your account manager who are always willing to help and are highly experienced. It’s great to know that you have the support you need when it’s needed.

We have found them to be reliable and deliver a prompt turnaround of clear and accurate reports. They have provided a service tailored to us and our drug and alcohol policy.

 

CAE Parc Aviation

We use Randox Testing Services for pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing for select clients.

We would happily recommend their services.

 

Yorwaste

Yorwaste first engaged with Randox Testing Services in 2015 to develop a post-incident, with-cause testing policy. RTS were instrumental in helping us developing a policy and introduce the process to the business. In addition, they offered management training to help develop the business’ understanding of what to look for and do in relation to drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

We are currently looking at introducing pre-employment screening and, with RTS, exploring the benefits of this approach for our business.

We as a business would strongly recommend RTS in helping develop and deliver a robust approach to drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

 

Contact Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services it is our aim to help employers provide a safer workplace by reducing the dangers of drugs & alcohol. We work with companies to inform & educate on how illicit substances can have untold dangers to staff and impact the productivity of a business.

If you would like to find out more about our services, or any of the testimonials above, get in touch with us to arrange a consultation with one of our drug & alcohol testing experts, using any of the below methods.

Website: www.randoxtestingservices.com

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


RTS Blog: Use of Reporting Services in Medico-Legal Cases

19 October 2020: Use of Reporting Services in Medico-Legal Cases

At Randox Testing Services we provide several reporting options that are available for use should they be required in medico-legal cases, including expert witness reports and medical reviews to add clarity and expert examination to results.

Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?

Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have a quality of life they deserve. In addition, it is also important to enable parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.

Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.

Expert Witness Services

An Expert Witness Report is an interpretation of the results of a drug or alcohol test. It provides a detailed explanation of whether substances tested for were detected as well as information regarding chain of custody compliance and testing procedures.

As trusted industry experts Randox Testing Services staff are trained to act as Expert Witnesses in legal cases involving drug and alcohol testing. Our experienced team of Reporting Scientists have undergone extensive Expert Witness training to provide professional witness statements or fully written reports for use as evidence in a court of law or industrial tribunals.

Where required a Senior Toxicologist from Randox Testing Services can attend legal proceedings in person to provide expert witness testimony.

Medical Review Officer

Our medical review service offers independent and expert examination of positive results under medical confidentiality.

A positive result from a drug and alcohol analysis is a cause for concern. However, there are some cases when there is a legitimate medical reason for the result. Our medical review service allows for the independent and confidential review of the result to determine the cause of a positive result, for example, if an employee is taking prescription medication.

The Medical Review Officer (MRO) assesses a positive result in the light of the donor’s medical background to determine if there is a legitimate medical reason for the result. The MRO helps protect both the rights of the employee being tested and the employer requiring the testing.

Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer customers access to our expertise through providing various reporting options to customers. These reporting services can be utilised in cases where extra clarity or examination is needed to investigate the outcome of a drugs test. These reports are utilised by workplaces as well as those operating within the medico-legal sector.

For more information on our training, education and reporting services, visit https://www.randoxtestingservices.com/workplace-drug-and-alcohol-testing/training-education-reporting-and-policy/

If you would like to find out more about our drug and alcohol testing programs, contact us today to speak to one of our experience business development executives.

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: 028 9592 2801

 

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


Different methods of drug testing and the benefits of each

Types of Drug Testing

At Randox Testing Services (RTS) we provide a range of testing solutions to enable you to conduct employee testing. Our screening procedure is efficient and involves an experienced sample collection officer visiting your premises to collect samples and transport them back to our laboratories for analysis. Alternatively, we can also train a member of your staff to collect samples on site with the same degree of accuracy as an RTS collection officer. Our testing solutions ensure coverage of all types of employee testing and meet the needs of all businesses.

For-Cause Testing

For-cause drug and alcohol testing is conducted when there is suspected drug abuse or alcohol misuse in the workplace. Suspicion may arise because of the employee exerting signs of substance abuse, if an allegation has been made, if drugs or alcohol have been found within the workplace or following an accident at work.

The key benefits include;

  • Legal compliance with correct measurements being taken if an employee is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Can deter employee misuse of drugs or alcohol due to a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy being in place.

Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment screening for substance abuse is an increasingly common type of workplace drug and alcohol testing. As an indicator of candidate suitability, it forms an essential part of a company’s recruitment process and helps maintain the safety of its current employee workforce and business environment.

The key benefits include,

  • Pre-employment screening is one of the easiest programmes to implement.
  • Screening applicants for use of drugs and alcohol ensures you employ the right people for your business.
  • Effective way of preventing future issues such as absenteeism and decreased productivity.
  • Pre-employment screening can help protect the integrity of a company by acting as an effective deterrent.
  • A pre-employment drug test is proved helpful to boost the repute of an organisation. The drug abusers usually stay away from applying in any firm that held a drug test at the time of employment.

Random Testing

Random testing for drugs and alcohol is a popular type of employee testing. With knowledge that a test could be conducted on anyone at any time it acts as an effective deterrent of drug abuse or alcohol misuse among employees.

The key benefits include;

  • Random testing is a deterrent for employees as they are aware they could be asked to undertake a test at any time.
  • It is a convenient and easy way to maintain a safe working environment free from substance abuse.
  • Employees are less likely to tactfully try to disguise results, or alter their habits, as they will be given little or no notice that a test is going to be conducted.
  • Employees are less likely to feel singled out due to random selection.

Post-incident testing

Post-incident testing occurs after an accident or incident in the workplace to determine if drugs or alcohol may have contributed to the cause. Incidents include injury to an employee, assault of an employee by another member of staff or damage to property.

If this is required, it is recommended that all employees involved in the incident are tested.

The key benefits include;

  • Safeguards the rights of the employees and employers to proving or disproving if drugs or alcohol were a factor in an incident.
  • Minimises the chance of a similar incident occurring.

Abstinence Monitoring

Abstinence monitoring provides employees with the support and opportunity to remain abstinent and continue to successfully at work. This type of testing is an effective tool to track progress towards addiction recovery for both the employee and the employer. Regular drug screens also give the recovering person added motivation to protect their sobriety.

For the employer abstinence monitoring provides greater security in knowing that their employee is safe to work. This is particularly important for safety critical roles.

The key benefits include;

  • Ensures that an employer is tackling and reducing the instances of substance abuse in the workplace.
  • Shows support from an employer throughout an employee’s rehabilitation process.
  • Increases employee morale and productivity.
  • Helps prevent staff turnover by offering a second chance.
  • Studies have shown that close monitoring by physicians, especially in early recovery, results in abstinence rates of over 80%.

At RTS we offer varied testing methods to be as flexible as the customer needs to fit in with their requirements.

For any further questions about implementing a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy or just general questions on workplace testing, please get in touch today!

Email – testingservices@randox.com

Phone – +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Randox Testing Services | How can a policy form the basis of workplace drug & alcohol testing?

If you work in a company with safety-critical roles it is more than likely that you have some sort of workplace drug and alcohol testing policy in place. Even companies without safety-critical roles are implementing these policies to further ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff.

Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures.

The policy itself holds vital importance, providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them, whilst educating themselves with information provided in a written comprehensive manner.

The importance of implementing a policy

The most important element of a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy is SAFETY. Drug and alcohol use increases the probability of workplace accidents occurring. Studies have found that employees who have alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work. The main issues associated with substance misuse relate to:

  • Absenteeism – it’s estimated that 17 million days of work are lost per year due to substance misuse.
  • Low productivity levels – employees may reduce output in different tasks and become de-motivated.
  • Inappropriate behaviour – some cases of substance abuse may lead to crime.
  • Aggressive behaviour towards others – resulting in loss of employment / convictions

It’s evident that many who suffer from drug & alcohol abuse are in employment. Studies show 25% of those in employment were registered drug addicts with 3.3% of all adults aged 16-59 classified as frequent users.

Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to implement a workplace drug and alcohol policy, to ensure the welfare of each member of staff is considered. Under the Health & Safety Act 1874, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees is fully met in order to maintain standards.

The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:

  • Building relationships with employees by showing there is help and support available.
  • Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if needed.
  • It can reduce the number of sick employees, reduce staff turnover and increase productivity levels.

Speak with us directly

We understand that the importance of having a policy that suits the specific needs of your company. In order to fully achieve this, we offer a free policy review service, where we will review your company’s existing documentation to gain an understanding of how we can help going forward.

We are delighted to announce we will be attending the Safety & Health Expo 2018. The annual event, running from 19th – 21st June and held at the Excel London, is the UK’s largest health and safety event with over 13,500 national and international key industry professionals across construction, manufacturing, government and consulting.

By attending this prestigious event we hope to engage with a range of stakeholders to discuss how our drug & alcohol testing services can have a positive impact on your employees and business.

If you are attending this event and would like to speak with us, please stop by our stand M410 to speak with one of our experts.

Alternatively, if you would like to arrange a meeting with us prior to the event, please email us: testingservices@randox.com, and quote Safety & Health Expo 2018 at the beginning of your message.

For more information on workplace drug & alcohol testing, visit www.randoxtestingservices.com.

 


The Importance of a Workplace Substance Misuse Policy

What is a workplace substance misuse policy?

Many organisations implement a policy that outlines the expectations they have concerning the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol and how this can affect performance and safety in the workplace. This can often be referred to as a substance misuse policy.

Employers hold the responsibility to ensure employees are fully aware of the company’s rules, regulations, testing and disciplinary procedures. Fundamentally, this is to guarantee complete workplace safety. The policy itself holds a vital importance providing employees with the knowledge of the standards expected of them in the workplace.

To ensure transparency of information, it is imperative that the policy is written in a clear, comprehensive manner. This should allow them to understand without confusion or misinterpretation the implications the organisation has in place for users who misuse substances.

Why is this policy so important for businesses to implement?

Alcohol and / or drug use increases the chances of problems occurring in the workplace. For example, studies have found that employees with alcohol problems are 2.7 times more likely to have an accident whilst at work.

Some of the main issues that associated with substance misuse in the workplace are:

  • Absenteeism – It’s estimated that there are 17 million lost days of work per year due to substance misuse.
  • Low productivity levels – Employees may lose focus in different tasks and become de-motivated.
  • Inappropriate behaviour – Some cases of substance abuse may lead to inappropriate actions or in extreme cases crime

Evidence suggests that many people who suffer from alcohol and drug abuse are in employment. Studies show that 25% of registered drug addicts are in full-time employment and that 3.3% of all adults in England and Wales aged 16 – 59 classified as frequent users.

Significant issues such as these provide growing concerns for employers to put in place a workplace substance misuse policy to guarantee the welfare of all stakeholders. Under the Health & Safety Act 1974, employers have a duty to ensure the safety of their employees is met to all principles. Introducing an effective workplace policy is a key part in maintaining these standards.

The importance of a workplace policy for drugs and alcohol can benefit employers by:

  • Building relationships with employees by showing them there is support available.
  • Policies can raise awareness of issues in the business and can encourage staff members to take action if they feel they have a problem.
  • Its importance can reduce the number of sick employees, it can also increase staff turnover & productivity levels.
  • Employers who implement a workplace policy can also see a rise in efficiency, improved staff relationship, communication and improved corporate image and in some cases customer relations.

 

What we at Randox Testing Services can do:

Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by safety-critical companies all over the world. We provide complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a range of blue chip companies across multiple industries including aviation, transport, construction, maritime, retail and occupational health to name a few.

Our expert consultancy service allows employers to create an effective drug and alcohol misuse policy. We offer comprehensive advice, guidance and support in composing an effective policy and explaining best procedures and testing methods to use. We also provide assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy, helping to modify existing documents to ensure they are legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.

To ensure clear communication of any policy changes, our experts can come to your workplace and present the policy to your staff. By having a third party explain the policy employers can ensure all the benefits are communicated effectively. This way staff do not feel like they are being victimised or persecuted, but know their employer is looking after their workplace wellbeing.

Combining our consultancy service with our drug and alcohol testing service and / or point of care products, employers can find a complete testing solution from Randox Testing Services.

For more information on our products and services call +44 (0) 28 9445 1011, email, testingservices@randox.com or visit our website www.randoxtestingservices.com

 

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.

To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email testingservices@randox.com today.

 

 

 


Drink and Drug Drive Limits UK and Ireland

As part of Randox Testing Services‘ ongoing efforts to raise awareness around issues related to drugs and alcohol we will be running a drink and drug drive campaign in the first two weeks of December. This campaign will detail the different drink and drug drive limits across the UK and Ireland and highlight how these limits differ from border to border.

Drink Drive Limits UK & Ireland

As can be seen in the table below, the drink drive limits across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are the same whereas Scotland has a lower limit. In December 2014 the limit was reduced in order to bring Scotland in line with most other European countries. The drink drive limit in the Republic of Ireland is the same as Scotland.

General Public
Breath Blood Urine
Ireland 22µg 50mg 67mg
Scotland 22µg 50mg 67mg
Rest of UK 35µg 80mg 107mg

*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample

The limits above apply to the general public, however across Ireland lower limits have been set for professional drivers:

Professional Drivers
Breath Blood Urine
Ireland 9µg 20mg 27mg

*Value is volume of Alcohol per 100ml of Sample

In the UK the Railways Transportation Safety Bill was passed introducing these lower limits for HGV drivers, pilots, train drivers etc. This bill is active in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Ireland replicated the UK by introducing this in Ireland’s Road Traffic Act 2010. Scotland currently don’t have regulations in place so the drink drive limits are the same regardless of occupation.

Drug Drive Limits UK & Ireland

Section 5A Road Traffic Act was passed in the UK on 2nd March 2015 which requires only the presence of drugs above a specified limit can provoke criminal proceedings against a driver. Roadside swab tests are currently being utilised across England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.

Roadside tests are used to detect the presence of four different types of drugs, the main two being cannabis and cocaine. The roadside tests only show a positive or negative reading that identifies traces of these drugs in the users system. If traces are shown, a blood sample is taken to identify the limit of the substance in a person.

If a roadside test doesn’t pick up traces of a substance an arrest can still be made if police have strong concerns that a driver may be under the influence of a substance they cannot detect at roadside. A blood sample is then taken for a more in-depth analysis to see if there are any drugs in the drivers system. The Scottish Government won’t have roadside testing put in place until 2019. It is still illegal to drive under the influence of drugs in Scotland and arrests can still be made.

Unlike alcohol, there are no separate drug drive limits for the general public and professional drivers:

Drug Driving Limits
Cannabis Cocaine Heroin
Ireland 1µg 10µg 5µg
England and Wales 2µg 10µg 5µg

*Values are amount of substance per 1 litre of blood

The Scottish Government confirmed drug-driving limits and roadside testing will be introduced in Scotland in 2019. Currently in Scotland and Northern Ireland it is illegal to drive if impaired by drugs and when police suspect a motorist of drug-driving, they carry out a field impairment test.

This method is still used in the UK and Ireland for drivers under the influence of other drugs not picked up in a swab test.  If the individual fails this they can be arrested and taken for a doctor’s examination to see if the person is impaired to the extent that they are unfit to drive. Then a blood sample is taken to prove if these drugs are in their system.

For more information on these limits follow us on Twitter @RandoxTesting to avail of the information and resources we will be sharing over the first 2 weeks in December.

You can also access our download wall which includes a range of educational posters, brochures and resources by visiting http://www.randoxtestingservices.com/downloads/

 

About Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer complete drug and alcohol testing solutions to a wide range of industries across the globe. We work with companies to help create and implement effective workplace testing policies that suit their needs and budget.

To support our customers our additional services include training and education courses as well as policy reviews and consultancy. Our experts are at hand to discuss any testing requirements you may have. To get in touch email testingservices@randox.com today.


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