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Last edited 01 Dec 2021
Workplace drug testing methods
Testing for drug use on construction sites and in the workplace is intended to protect people and premises while ensuring that an employer’s responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act have been met. There are several different testing methods, each with their own benefits.
- Is saliva testing a viable option? In environments where safety and timing are priorities, saliva testing may be preferred, since it can determine if someone is currently under the influence of drugs. Saliva testing can produce a positive result if the individual had taken drugs in the last two hours. Saliva testing is generally not prone to contamination.
- Is urine testing a viable option? While saliva testing may be suitable for some sensitive environments, urine testing may be suitable in instances where random testing policies are in place. This method can provide instant, in-house results that may be able to prevent accidents from happening on site in the first place. However, urine testing may not provide reliable results in instances where very recent substance activity has occurred - or if the test participant is under the influence at the time the sample was taken. Generally, urine tests are unable to detect drugs that have been taken in the 48 hour time period immediately prior to the test.
- What is the test’s cut-off level for each drug? This factor establishes how much of a drug can be present in a person’s system before its presence is detected by the test. If this level is low, the kit will be more sensitive to a positive result.
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