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Drug Testing: the importance of staff following correct procedure to mitigate error

Gone are the days when companies simply had a urine test to confirm AOD consumption, delivering a result long after the shift had ended. By testing saliva, drugs ingested recently will be detected.

Drug-Testing

 

A recent case in the construction industry highlights this point well during a routine AOD test on the morning shift.

An Oral Fluid Drug Screening Test was conducted as part of the organisations’ AOD Policy using Alcolizer’s state-of-the-art ‘LE5 Druglizer™’ device. The returned result was UNCONFIRMED for Cocaine.

At this point, the correct procedure to confirm if the drug was present, in accordance with AS4760:2019i is to conduct an Oral Fluid Confirmation Test. The company policy stated this, as did the AOD Technician conducting the test, as well as the site OHS Manager clearly stating the next step forward was to take the Oral Fluid Confirmation Test.

However, the donor and (for reasons unknown) the company Operations Manager insisted a Urine Drug Screening Test be conducted instead.

After some debate the second oral fluid sample was gathered for confirmation analysis and sent to a designated NATA approved laboratoryii for analysis.

Fit for duty or not?

Despite the Urine sample test being a breach of the company’s AOD policy, the donor – with assistance from the Operations Manager – arranged for a competing Urine Test offsite; this test subsequently returned a NEGATIVE result for Cocaine.

The donor returned to work with the Urine Drug Screening Result form and claimed that the Druglizer Oral Fluid Screening Result was incorrect. However, later the same day the Oral Fluid Confirmation Drug Test Result from the lab returned a POSITIVE result for Cocaine at 32ng/mL (the AS/NZS 4760:2019 cut-offs levels for screening in oral fluid for Cocaine is 50ng/mL and 25ng/mL at confirmation).

This situation emphasises the importance of immediately determining if a person if fit for work when they’re trying to set foot on site. It’s essential the company has a clearly defined AOD policy and is compliant with Australian Standards. It’s crucial that AOD Technicians remaining compliant to the AOD Policy and Australian Standards even when challenged by others.

Oral sampling methods give a superior result when you need to know if the employee coming on shift is fit for duty. Having an Australian Standards compliant AOD Policy and correctly trained Technicians able to enforce the Policy, even in the face of opposition, is essential.

Having a reliable technology and training partner brings everything together and ensures the intent of your AOD Policy is achieved every time.

The LE5 Druglizer offers fast and accurate workforce drug testing with absolute data Integrity and results that can’t be tampered with.

For more information regarding different drug detection timeframes, view our white paper below.

Selecting a Biosample for Drug Testing

 

References:

  1. For more information on this Standard visit: https://infostore.saiglobal.com/en-au/standards/as-nzs-4760-2019-1144217_saig_as_as_2711498/
  2. See NATA is Australia’s leading accreditation organisation – NATA for details on NATA

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