Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing

Why Carry Out Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing?

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.

    An employee who is involved in the following drug and alcohol related activities can be considered a possible substance abuser:

    • Consuming alcohol/ drugs before coming to work
    • Consuming alcohol/ drugs during work such as during work breaks
    • Regular heavy drug/alcohol use outside working hours
    • Getting ‘high’ or ‘drunk’ and arriving into work ‘hung-over’ from the effects of drugs or alcohol

As a major cause of workplace accidents, employers need to prioritise the management of substance abuse and reduce the potential impact. In addition employers have a duty to protect their employees under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) which outlines that employers must ensure, as far as reasonably practical, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work.

Consequences of knowingly allowing an employee who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol to continue working could lead to legal action being taken; under The Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) it is an offence for an employer to knowingly permit the use of controlled substances on their premises. Ultimately the responsibility lies with the employer.

    Employee testing for misuse of drugs and alcohol can keep a business safe and legal with extra benefits including:

    • Reduced likelihood of incidents
    • Decreased stress over safety concerns
    • Increased productivity from employees
    • Reduced absenteeism and the associated costs
    • Cost savings on recruitment and training of new employees
    • Maintenance of team morale and employee relations
    • Effective disciplinary procedures which are understood by all employees (a result of implementing a workplace substance abuse policy)

When Might Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing be Required?

    There are many situations where an employer may feel the need to carry out employee testing for drug abuse or alcohol misuse:

    • As a precautionary measure for new employees starting work
    • As a deterrent through random drug and alcohol testing
    • If an employee is suspected of using drugs or alcohol
    • If there has been an accident or incident at work, and it is believed that the employee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    • For abstinence monitoring of an employee who is returning to work having previously been found positive for use of drugs or alcohol
  • Did You Know?


      • A regular drug or alcohol misuser is 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident at work, and 3 times more likely to claim against their employer
      • 27% of employers say drug abuse is a problem at work
      • Almost 17 million working days are lost each year in the UK due to alcohol misuse
      • 25% of registered drug addicts are in full time employment
      • More than 1 in 6 people aged 16-24 take drugs regularly
      • Drugs account for as much as 80% of losses due to theft in the workplace
      • Alcohol is implicated in 60% of workplace fatalities

These different circumstances require different types of workplace drug and alcohol testing to be carried out. At Randox Testing Services we provide assistance to help employers implement employee testing for drugs and alcohol via our consultancy service.

Do Employers Have the Right to Conduct Employee Testing?

    Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of all employees. To minimise the risks of incidents occurring as a result of drug abuse or alcohol misuse, testing can be conducted as long as a company:

    • Has a written drug and alcohol testing policy in place outlining the purpose of the policy, how tests will be carried out, what support is available to drug or alcohol abusers, and details of disciplinary procedures (reference to this policy should be made in a company’s employment contract, company handbook, and policy statement)
    • Gains consent from employees to carry out drug and alcohol testing i.e. via employment contract
    • Adheres to data protection to ensure confidentiality of employees and their results
    • Limits testing to employees that need to be tested, and in cases where random drug and alcohol testing is conducted, employees should be genuinely selected at random

How Randox Testing Services Can Assist?

With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostics industry, we provide reliable, cost effective employee testing for a wide range of industries. Catering to all business needs we provide workplace drug and alcohol testing for pre-employment screening, random testing, for-cause testing, post-incident testing, and employee abstinence monitoring.

In addition with a variety of testing methods to choose from, the most comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu on the market, and our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology, we provide bespoke testing solutions guaranteed to meet your needs.

We Ensure Adherence to Testing Regulations:

    • We follow a strict chain of custody procedure to ensure sample integrity and employee confidentiality
    • We ensure sample collection is performed by strictly vetted sample collection officers
    • We use random selection technology to eliminate bias and ensure genuinely random testing

How to Use Our Services

With a global network of collection officers Randox Testing Services provide workplace drug and alcohol testing to companies all over the world. Upon contacting us we will arrange a free consultation with one of our sales advisors to talk about your employee testing requirements, and put together a package tailored to your needs.

Other Services

In addition, our comprehensive testing solutions can include guidance, advice and support with tailored packages to suit your needs. Our range of services includes:

Consultancy Service

Implementing an effective workplace drug and alcohol testing policy ensures employees can be tested for drugs and alcohol should the need arise. With our full consultancy service we assist you in creating, or modifying a new or existing policy to ensure a legally viable policy, as well as offering advice on how to introduce the new policy to employees.

Training and Education

We offer a range of educational services to increase the awareness of drugs and alcohol among employers and employees, as well as providing training to educate employers and management on the effects of substance abuse and how to identify the signs. In addition we offer chain of custody training to allow employers to conduct their own sample collections on-site.

Medical Review Service

We provide a medical review service which offers independent and expert examination of positive results under medical confidentiality. In some cases there may be a legitimate medical reason for positive results; this service ensures confidence in results by eradicating any wrongful conclusions being made.

Expert Witness Report

We provide expert witness reports for use as professional and objective evidence in court. These reports are written by our trusted scientific experts, and provide a detailed outline of the test procedure and chain of custody process followed, along with interpretation of the results found.

  • Contact us to find out more about our services

    We offer a fully confidential and no obligation initial consultation.