Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

09 July 2020

Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic

On 31 December 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, reported a cluster of 27 pneumonia cases (including seven severe cases) of unknown aetiology, with a common reported link to Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, a wholesale fish and live animal market. On 23 January 2020, Wuhan City was locked down – with all travel in and out of Wuhan prohibited –and movement inside the city was restricted.

By March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, with more than 150 countries worldwide being affected. Many countries, including the UK; imposed stringent public health measures that included the closure of businesses & strict social distancing guidelines.

Due to the enforced lockdown, many within the UK workforce had to make alternative working arrangements, with working from home becoming the new norm. With the closure of businesses and the hospitality sector including bars and restaurants, it meant people seeking alternative means to purchase and consume alcohol.

Before the pandemic, alcohol was attributed to being a financial burden to the UK health system and wider economy. The British Medical Journal estimated that alcohol costs the NHS more than £3.5 billion and the wider economy at least £21bn each year.

The organisation Alcohol Change UK commissioned new research to look at whether people’s drinking habits changed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Over 2,000 people completed the survey, with results weighted to ensure they were representative of the UK population.

The key takeaway from the report is people are consuming alcohol differently because of the lockdown. Around one in five drinkers (21%) told us that they have been drinking more frequently since the lockdown. This suggests that around 8.6 million UK adults are drinking more frequently under lockdown.

Furthermore, while almost half of drinkers said they were drinking about the same amount on a typical drinking day, 15% said they have been drinking more per session since lockdown.

The Global Drug Survey produced a special report for COVID-19 with more than 80,000 participants. The report stated that 44% of those who participated said the frequency of alcohol use increased. Reasons for this included ‘having more time to drink and feeling bored more often.’ However, 25.5% reported having decreased their use of alcohol during COVID-19.

As restrictions begin to ease and more people return to work, it is important to highlight the impact of COVI-19 on the workforce. People’s way of life has changed dramatically, with this change comes different ways of consuming alcohol. It is important to note that the figures above are a proportionate representation based on those who took part, but valuable insights can be gained when looking at alcohol use. For employers who have staff returning to work, their safety is of paramount importance. This will include effectively managing substance misuse, should it be an issue in the workplace.

Effects of Alcohol

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

Consumption of alcohol 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 educational posters that can be displayed in workplaces to highlight the dangers of alcohol. Click here for more information.

About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing sector. We provide a wide range of testing for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in the workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training, our services will help to eradicate the impact of drugs and alcohol.

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 followed at all times when possible whilst conducting testing. We will continue to advise and navigate companies through this period as more businesses return and testing is required.

If you have any questions regarding drug & alcohol testing, contact us today.

Web: www.randoxtestingservices.com

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

 

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Randox calls upon NI engineers to build COVID-19 testing platforms

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05 April 2020

COVID-19 Engineering Recruitment Drive

 

RANDOX CALLS UPON NI ENGINEERS TO BUILD COVID-19 TESTING PLATFORMS

Randox Laboratories has today announced it is recruiting 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to enhance its capacity for COVID-19 testing.

 The engineers, who are due to begin work at the Randox Science Park from the middle of May, will be involved in the fast-tracked development of specialist molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

These testing platforms will be used to further enhance the government’s national testing scheme for key workers, as well as to facilitate testing more broadly across the general populace.

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;

“It is Randox’s priority to ensure that we support the UK’s effort to fight COVID-19, by testing at scale. We know that this is the most effective way to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.

“We continue to ramp up our COVID-19 testing capabilities – not only by increasing our production of testing kits, but also by accelerating the build schedule for the testing analysers on which the tests are performed.

“We are aiming, by working at maximum efficiency in a greatly accelerated time frame of 6-7 weeks, to manufacture 200 of our most state-of-the-art testing platforms, which will greatly enhance our testing capacity at Randox.”

Randox has, in recent weeks, established a number of new teams responsible for the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 testing kits for the national testing programme.

The company is also interested in speaking to anyone with experience in mechanical, electrical or manufacturing engineering. Invest Northern Ireland is helping by contacting companies which may be able to temporarily release resources to help meet this urgent staffing requirement.

Dr FitzGerald added;

“To meet the unprecedented demand for COVID-19 testing, we have been redeploying our own personnel to various COVID-19 critical departments, but are now also recruiting for a number of specialist disciplines.

“Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing, and for engineers in particular, this is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19, by directly contributing in no small part to the national testing programme.”

Anyone interested in the Randox COVID-19 Engineering Drive should apply at careers.randox.com

Want to know more?

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RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

12 March 2020

Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

 

RTS Blog | Wales introduce minimum alcohol pricing

From 2nd March, there was a change in the way alcohol is sold in Wales, with the introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP).

Retailers and any outlets serving alcohol must charge at least 50p a unit, meaning a typical bottle of wine costs no less than £4.69. Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said it would tackle “harmful and damaging” drinking of cheap, strong alcohol.

A recent report found that alcohol sales in Scotland had dropped after a similar system was implemented in May 2018. The Public Health Minimum Price for Alcohol Wales Act 2018 forces retailers to use a formula for working out minimum pricing.

What is a unit of alcohol?

  • A unit is 10ml of pure alcohol
  • This is equivalent to about half a pint of lower or standard-strength beer or cider
  • A single 25ml shot of sprits is about one unit
  • A small 125ml glass of wine contains about 1.5 units

Source: NHS Direct Wales

What is minimum unit pricing?

Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is a method in setting a baseline price below which no one can sell an alcoholic drink. The price is based on how much alcohol is in each drink. The minimum price that’s being set in Wales is 50p per unit of alcohol. Whether the drink is beer, cider, wine, spirits or any other kind of alcoholic drink; its minimum price will depend on how much alcohol it contains. For example:

  • A standard-strength pint of beer or cider contains around 2.5 units of alcohol, so it can’t be sold in Wales for less than £1.25 (2.5 x 50p)
  • A bottle of wine has about 10 units of alcohol in it, so the minimum price for it is around £5 (10 x 50p)
  • A bottle of whisky or vodka contains around 26 units, and so cannot be sold for less than £13 (26 x 50p)

Why has it been introduced?

Official figures show about 500 people die in Wales each year from alcohol-related causes, with 60,000 hospital admissions related to alcohol consumption, adding up to an estimated £159m cost to the Welsh NHS r.

Dr Sarah Aitken, director of public health for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said the organisation had been supportive of the law change since it was first mooted.

“We see the effects of excessive alcohol consumption on people’s health every day,” she said.

 About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services are a specialist in the workplace drug & alcohol testing industry. We provide testing solutions for companies who want to reduce the impact of substance misuse in their workplace. With a range of service options and expert staff on hand to provide help and training to staff, our services will help to eradicate the impacts of drugs and alcohol.

To find out more about our range of products and how our service packages can help your company, contact us today.

Email – testingservices@randox.com

Phone – +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


Randox Testing Services announce attendance at HRD Summit 2020

16 January 2020

Randox Testing Services to attend HRD Summit 2020

 

RTS are pleased to announce we will be attending the HRD Summit 2020. The two-day event is taking place on 4-5 February at the ICC, Birmingham.

The HRD Summit plays host to the most senior HR and business leaders on the globe. The 2020 Summit will welcome over 1,500 attendees, over 150 speakers across 8 content streams, over 80 Exhibitors, over 250 Match Meetings and 11+ hours of networking spread across 2 days.

For RTS it will be the first time attending the event and UK Sales Manager Michelle Fenn is anticipating a busy and productive two days. She said,

“RTS are delighted to be attending the HRD Summit in Birmingham. It is an event that we have identified that would be ideally suited to promote the message of safer workplaces through minimising the impacts of drug & alcohol misuse. In workplaces, employers are becoming more mindful and aligned to their well-being of their employees. One part of this is ensuring a health and safety policy is in place.

A key role within this is ensuring an accurate and concise drug and alcohol policy that is effectively communicated to all employees. RTS are proud of the assistance we provide in helping companies to reduce the impact of substance misuse, so we look forward to engaging with the companies and delegates who will be attending the HRD Summit over the two days.”

As well as exhibiting in the dedicated Partner Zone at the event where delegates can engage with us directly and find out more about our services relating to drug & alcohol testing, we will also be taking part in one of the roundtable discussions that will be happening during the event, so keep an eye on our website and social media in the run up to the event for more information!

About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services is a specialist in the drug & alcohol testing industry. We aim to educate and inform companies about the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace, and the impact it can have on an organisation.

If you are attending HRD Summit and would like to speak with us about drug & alcohol testing, visit us in the Partner Zone where one of our colleagues will be happy to speak with you.

Alternatively, if you would like to know more about workplace drug & alcohol testing and how we can help your business, contact us using any of the below details.

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: 028 9445 1011

 

Want to know more?

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New report highlights scale and causes of prescription drug dependence in UK

10 December 2019

New report highlights scale and causes of prescription drug dependence in UK

 

A new report has highlighted the scale and causes of prescription drug dependence in the UK. In 2017, the minister for public health and primary care commissioned Public Health England (PHE) to identify the scale, distribution and causes of prescription drug dependence, and what might be done to address it.

The review covered adults (aged 18 and over) and 5 classes of medicines:

  • benzodiazepines (mostly prescribed for anxiety)
  • z-drugs (sleeping tablets with effects similar to benzodiazepines)
  • gabapentin and pregabalin (together called gabapentinoids and used to treat epilepsy, neuropathic pain and, in the case of pregabalin, anxiety)
  • opioids for chronic non-cancer pain
  • antidepressants

PHE’s analysis shows that, in 2017 to 2018, 11.5 million adults in England (26% of the adult population) received, and had dispensed, one or more prescriptions for any of the medicines within the scope of the review. The totals for each medicine were:

  • z-drugs – 1.0 million (2%)
  • benzodiazepines – 4 million (3%)
  • gabapentinoids – 5 million (3%)
  • antidepressants – 3 million people (17% of the adult population)
  • opioid pain medicines – 6 million (13%)

Trends

Between 2015 to 2016 and 2017 to 2018 the rate of prescribing for antidepressants increased from 15.8% of the adult population to 16.6% and for gabapentinoids from 2.9% to 3.3%. There was a small decrease in prescribing rates for the other 3 medicine classes. Rates of prescribing were higher for women (1.5 times those of men), and the rates generally increased with age. After a long increasing trend, the annual number of prescriptions for opioid pain medicines has slightly decreased since 2016. There is a continuing longer-term fall in prescription numbers for benzodiazepines. A longer-term increase in annual prescription numbers for z-drugs started to reverse in 2014.

Officials said long-term use on such a scale could not be justified and was a sign of patients dependence.

PHE medical director Prof Paul Cosford said he was worried.

“These medicines have many vital clinical uses and can make a big difference to people’s quality of life.”

But he added there were too many cases where patients were using them for longer than “clinically” appropriate – where the drugs would have simply stopped working effectively or where the risks could outweigh the benefits.

Conclusions

One in 4 adults in England were prescribed benzodiazepines, z-drugs, gabapentinoids, opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, or antidepressants. Prescriptions for antidepressants and gabapentinoids are increasing, but prescriptions for opioid pain medicines are decreasing. Prescriptions for benzodiazepines continue to fall, and those for z-drugs have more recently started to fall.

Peter Burkinshaw at PHE, one of the authors said: “The long-term prescribing of opioid pain medicines and benzodiazepines is not supported by guidelines and is not effective.”

Fellow author Rosanna O’Connor, said: “We know that GPs in some of the more deprived areas are under great pressure but, as this review highlights, more needs to be done to educate and support patients, as well as looking closely at prescribing practice and what alternative treatments are available locally.

References

Dependence and withdrawal associated with some prescribed medicines (PHE)

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/10/addictive-medication-nhs-opioid-crisis-government-study-england

Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we are at the forefront of alcohol and drug testing. We aim to spread the message of alcohol and drug misuse and the effects substance abuse can have on individuals and businesses. Prescription & OTC medication if taken incorrectly can have a devastating impact. It’s important to communicate with employers if you are taking prescription medication for any reason. If your organisation undertakes workplace testing, our chain of custody process provides clarity on the steps needed to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

For more information on drug & alcohol testing, including the wide range of substances we can test for, please visit www.randoxtestingservices.com or email testingservices@randox.com

 

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RIQAS Point of Care

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Randox International Quality Assessment Scheme – RIQAS at the Point of Care

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Designed to improve the quality of Point of Care Testing (POCT) in locations such as pharmacies, GP surgeries, hospital out patient departments, sports clinics, supermarkets, diagnostic/treatment and walk-in centres, RIQAS Point of Care provides independent evidence of the accuracy and reliability of test results. Randox International Quality Assessment Scheme (RIQAS) is the world’s largest EQA scheme with over 47,000 participants in more than 139 countries.

Why RIQAS Point of Care?

About RIQAS Point of Care

  • How it Works

    On a monthly basis we will distribute an identical sample of blood to all participating sites.  Each participating site will test the sample in the same way they would test a real patient sample, then return their test results to RIQAS within a set time. The scheme is unique in distributing whole blood samples rather than serum based samples, this ensures that samples act identically to real patient samples at the point of care.

    An electronic report is then sent to participants, comparing their results with other participants using the same analyser.  Satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance is represented using a traffic light system, allowing instant identification of any issues. A more detailed breakdown of performance may be obtained if further information is required. With time, an overall picture will emerge showing whether results are consistently accurate and reliable or whether there may be an underlying analyser and/or operator issue.

    RIQAS Point of Care - How it works
  • Tests and Analysers

    Test Role
    HbA1c • Diagnosing diabetes mellitus
    • Monitoring treatment
    • Encouraging self-management
    Total Cholesterol & HDL Cholesterol • Risk factors for heart disease
    • Monitoring lipid lowering therapy
    C-Reactive Protein (CRP) • Early detection of infectious disease
    • Identifying need for antibiotic treatment
    Glucose • Diagnose and monitor diabetes
    • Monitor for the presence of hypoglycaemia
    (low blood glucose) and hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose)
    International Normalised Ratio (INR) • Used to measure the effect of anticoagulant
    drugs such as warfarin
    • Help diagnose a bleeding disorder; to help
    estimate the severity of liver disease
    Ketones • To determine whether excessive ketones are
    present in the blood, to detect diabetic
    ketoacidosis (DKA)
    Note – The RIQAS Point of Care range is constantly expanding to include new tests and analysers. Please contact us if your desired analyser or test is not currently displayed.
  • Ordering Information

    Panel Catalogue Number
    Lipids RQ9181/A
    Lipids + 1 panel RQ9181/B
    Lipids + 2 panels RQ9181/C
    Additional Sample RQ9181/D
  • What Participants Say

    Our unrivalled commitment to quality and service ensures high levels of customer satisfaction, this is evident from the responses to our latest customer satisfaction survey:

    “All in all a quick and efficient service”
    “Good online system”
    “Very helpful team”
    “Excellent training”
    “They are an experienced team”
    “Very satisfied with the service that we receive”
    “Very good value for money”
    “The website is great”
  • Distribution Dates

    Distribution Month Sample Distributed Result Submission Deadline
    March 2020 2nd March 11th March
    April 2020 6th April 15th April
    May 2020 4th May 13th May
    June 2020 1st June 10th June
    July 2020 6th July 15th July
    August 2020 3rd August 12th August
    September 2020 7th September 16th September
    October 2020 5th October 14th October
    November 2020 2nd November 11th November
    December 2020 7th December 16th December
  • Importance of Quality Assurance

    Quality assurance is an essential aspect of any clinical/diagnostic testing service and is aimed at ensuring the accuracy and reliability of patients’ results. The right result allows the right clinical advice to be offered in a timely manner. Quality assurance operates at two levels:

    Internal Quality Control

    Internal Quality Control includes operator training/ competency assessment, analyser/ test system maintenance, and adherence to policies/ processes. Whilst some point of care analysers include inbuilt quality checks, cross-check analysis against samples with known levels provides immediate assurance and evidence that a patient’s result is safe to report.

    External Quality Assessment

    External Quality Assessment involves analysis of samples with unknown levels that have been distributed by an external organisation. Participants are informed how their results compare with other participants, hence providing independent evidence of performance. Increasingly, participation in an external quality assessment scheme is becoming a mandatory requirement where health and healthcare services are being provided.

    EQA provides assurance to both staff and customers that testing provides accurate and reliable results.

    Want to know more?

    Visit our Importance of EQA page to learn more.

Want to know more?

Contact us or download the RIQAS Point of Care catalogue to learn more.

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Practical steps for dealing with substance misuse in the workplace

11 November 2019

Practical steps for dealing with substance misuse in the workplace

 

What is substance misuse?

Substance misuse (or abuse) is defined as the sustained use of any mind-altering substance. This includes legal substances like solvents and alcohol as well as illegal drugs. Through this continued use the user’s physical and mental health are severely affected. The misuse of substances in the workplace can cause issues such as increased absenteeism, low productivity and create an unsafe working environment.

It is estimated that between 3% and 5% of all work absences are due to alcohol abuse and that 1 in 30 employees has had drugs in their system at one time in the workplace. All employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and so statistics like this cannot be ignored.

What can employers do?

As an employer, it is important that measures are taken to protect all employees and the company from potential dangers. To do this, employers should:

Introduce a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy. This lets all stakeholders know exactly where the company stands on substance misuse and shows that you are being proactive in your approach.

Conduct drug and alcohol testing. Utilising random and/or with cause testing can help quickly identify any substance misuse issues. Consider including a contractual obligation for employees to co-operate with this.

Train staff to identify the signs of substance misuse. Make everyone aware of the issue and give them the ability to look for the key signs. This can only help increase safety.

Keep up-to-date with the latest legislation. The laws on substance misuse can change quite quickly, especially as new substances like legal highs are identified and re-classified. Ensure you are aware of the latest changes.

Support employees. Addiction or frequent misuse of substances should be treated the same way as other health issues. Offer support to your employees and help them make a quick return to work.

The above steps can help better manage the issue of substance misuse in the workplace. Effectively communicating the company’s stance on this issue to employees brings clarity and lets everyone know where they stand.

Randox Testing Services

At Randox Testing Services we offer comprehensive drug and alcohol testing solutions for workplaces. We incorporate cutting-edge screening methods to provide an outstanding testing service and are well-positioned to provide consultancy and support to help you put an effective workplace drug and alcohol testing policy in place.

For more information contact us at testingservices@randox.com.

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RTS | Which company testing is right for me?

04 October 2019

Which company testing method is right for me?

 

Implementation of an effective substance misuse policy establishes employer rights to conduct workplace drug and alcohol testing if required. In addition, it ensures adherence to the duty of care of an employer to protect their workforce and keep employees safe. There are a range of approaches available to complement your policy to ensure a safer working environment. In this blog we take a look at two common types of testing; random testing and with-cause testing.

Random Testing

With knowledge that a test could be conducted with anyone at any time, random testing is the most effective deterrent of drug abuse or alcohol misuse among employees. Ensuring the integrity of staff across all levels, random testing can be conducted with employees at any level, from temporary employees to managers and directors.

Process

The process includes ensuring a clear workplace drug and alcohol testing policy is in place. Employees should also be made aware that random drug and alcohol testing is carried out; this can take the form of a clear statement in an employee’s contract outlining that random testing can be conducted with little to no notice. Notification of this conforms to legislation whilst respecting employee rights.

Secondly, we will work with you to determine the percentage of your workforce you would like to test, and how often you would like testing to be carried out. Whilst we recommend random drug and alcohol testing should be performed at least quarterly, the decision is yours. To avoid employee discrimination and to ensure testing is random, we use our random selection technology to eliminate bias and provide accurate random selections.

Finally, we will arrive to your workplace unannounced to carry out sample collections from the random selection of employees.

Key Benefits

By implementing a random drug testing may help employers by:

  • Deterring current employees from engaging in drug use
  • Preventing the need for substance abuse recovery programs
  • Employees are less likely to tactfully try to disguise results, or alter their habits, as they will be given little to no notice that a test is going to be conducted
  • Improving attendance and employee productivity
  • Providing a safer workplace with reduced accidents

With-Cause Testing

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971), if an employer suspects an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are legally required to take appropriate action to protect the safety of the employee concerned, other members of staff and the public.

Process

The nature of with-cause testing means that testing can be required ‘on-the-spot’. At Randox Testing Services, we offer a 24-hour call-out service which guarantees an experienced collection officer will arrive to your company within a maximum of 2 hours to perform a sample collection. This service is available 24/7, 365 days a year and complies fully with chain of custody procedures.

Benefits

  • 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 testing policy being in place
  • Cost savings because of increased productivity with issues being discovered and rectified early

How Randox Testing Services can help

At Randox Testing Services we possess a wealth of experience and knowledge that enables us to offer holistic packages to meet the needs of the customer, regardless of their location or industry. This knowledge comes from over 35 years of testing experience in the diagnostics industry and through our involvement with bodies that help shape testing legislation.

For more information about our range of drug & alcohol testing products, our expertise in this industry and our array of support services, visit www.randoxtestingservices.com.

If you would like to speak with one of our experts, use any of the following methods:

Email: testingservices@randox.com

Phone: +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


Addressing Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

05 September 2019

Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

Addressing Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace

Within any business, companies seek to outline clear methods in which employees should act and behave whilst carrying out their roles. These rules are outlined in company workplace policies. Every business – no matter which industry it operates in – should have well-documented and comprehensive workplace policies and procedures in place.

According to the Employment Law Handbook, a workplace policy is a set of rules and principles that aims to provide guidance to managers and workers in how to behave in the workplace. They can be in place for numerous different issues – bullying, harassment, internet use, health and safety are just a few that can be implemented.

Health and Safety

As mentioned above, health and safety is an important aspect of any workplace policy. The health and well-being of the working community is of utmost importance for sustainable development. Specifically, a drug and alcohol policy is a key part of the overall health and safety policy within a company. Alcohol and drugs through their effects on health, safety, work performance and absenteeism can jeopardise productivity, deny businesses the leading edge and curtail competitiveness. Effectively implemented drug and alcohol policies will help employers in the legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees.

The need for a Drug and Alcohol Policy

Drugs and alcohol misuse can have dangerous consequences within the workplace. All organisations can benefit from an agreed policy that applies to all staff. There are wide range of statistics available to highlight the worrying impact that drugs and alcohol can have on individuals. In 2016, it was estimated that £7 billion was lost in productivity through unemployment and sickness. Furthermore, 10.8 million adults in England are drinking at levels that pose some risk to their health. A survey carried out by UK based Health and Safety Consultants Protecting.co.uk showed that; from 2,600 workers in office, factory, retail and the public sector, 85% admit to being drunk at work in the last year; not including the Christmas party. 28% of those surveyed admitted using drugs at work, including NPS (formerly legal highs) cannabis and other illegal substances.

From a legal point of view, employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of employees. Also, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees. If an employer knowingly allows an employee under the influence of drug misuse to continue working and his/her behaviour places the employee or others at risk, they may face prosecution.

Advantages of having policies in place

Having well-developed policies and procedures can provide a range of benefits to an organisation. An effectively implemented drug and alcohol policy will ensure a clear understanding within the workplace of the rules relating to drugs and alcohol. It will also provide a greater awareness in workplaces of the effects of drugs and alcohol an consequently early recognition. Furthermore, it ensures that the necessary structures and procedures are in place should a problem arise. An up to date policy will also provide assurance that key staff have been trained to understand the issues involved and have the necessary skills to deal with any problems should they arise.

How can Randox Testing Services help?

At Randox Testing Services we offer a comprehensive consultancy service to help employers create an effective substance misuse policy. By providing this service we offer practical advice, guidance and support in composing a substance misuse policy.

Our confidential policy review service provides assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy. With this service, we help to modify existing documents to ensure it is legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.

For more information on our comprehensive consultancy service, visit our website: www.randoxtestingservices.com or contact us by emailing testingservices@randox.com.

To read more about workplace polices and their importance within an organisation, click here.

 

Want to know more?

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Flexible Drug and Alcohol Testing Methods

06 August 2019

Flexible Drug and Alcohol Testing Methods

At Randox Testing Services our complete testing solutions include flexible drug and alcohol testing methods that can be tailored to meet our customer needs. In all aspects of testing we ensure the accuracy and reliability of results and utilise strict chain of custody procedures across all our testing methods.

To guarantee the most effective form of testing our dedicated Account Managers make informed recommendations to our customers on what type of testing best suits their business needs. The different methods are outlined below along with the sample types that can be tested:

Drug and Alcohol Testing Methods

  • Abstinence Monitoring

Conducted as a follow up on a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test. If an employer provides support to an employee who has had a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test, this type of testing may be used to help with rehabilitation.

  • Post-Incident

Used to determine if drugs or alcohol may have contributed to an accident/incident in the workplace. This type of testing can be an effective tool in accident investigations and it is our recommendation that should an incident occur, all employees involved should be tested.

  • Pre-Employment

This is the most popular type of workplace testing especially in industries which have safety critical roles. This type of testing is an essential part of a company’s recruitment process and clearly states the company’s position on drug and alcohol misuse for any potential employee.

  • Random

A popular type of testing within workplaces as it acts as a deterrent to drug and alcohol abuse. A company’s drug and alcohol testing policy should clearly outline that they carry out random workplace testing ensuring employees do not know when the event is planned.

  • With-Cause

Performed when a company is suspicious that an employee may be currently under the influence of alcohol or misusing drugs. This suspicion is normally raised if an employee is acting out of character and there has been observed different behaviours.

Sample Types

  • Urine (Alcohol and Drugs)

The most common sample type for drug testing and offers a longer detection window than oral fluid for drugs.

  • Oral Fluid (Drugs only)

Oral fluid testing analyses a saliva sample for parent drugs and their metabolites, providing analysis of short-term drug abuse.

  • Hair (Alcohol and Drugs)

A hair drugs test offers a longer window of detection than alternative testing and can provide a detailed view or overall picture of drug use. Detection window is based on hair length with 1cm of head equating to approximately 1 month of detection.

  • Breath (Alcohol only)

Breath can be tested for alcohol using hand-held devices which provide immediate results. These devices can gauge blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring deep lung air.

About Randox Testing Services

Randox Testing Services is a market leader in the drug and alcohol testing industry. Our expertise is relied upon by a range of leading safety-critical companies across the world.

We pride ourselves on helping our customers improve the health and safety of their working environment through helping them implement a comprehensive substance misuse policy. Our expertise within this industry allows us to craft customised packages to meet the testing needs of any workplace. Our drug and alcohol testing methods are flexible to adapt to any changes and our testing processes are accurate, to guarantee reliable results.

Contact us today be at testingservices@randox.com or call 028 9445 1011 to speak to one of our experts.

Want to know more?

Contact us or visit our website to read more.


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