Workplace Drug Testing is on the Rise

2014 has seen significant increases in Workplace Drug Testing according to recent results by the BBC.*  The results shown, illustrate a growth of more than 40% in annual drug testing over the last 3 years for those dealing within the Workplace Drug Testing Services.

Lianne Gray, LGC Group’s strategic account manager for occupational drug testing said in a report to the BBC that “employees in ‘safety-critical’ roles, such as driving, or operating heavy machinery are most likely to be tested.  There is a growing trend for drug testing to also be undertaken in the ‘normal’ work places, and this is to safeguard not only the business, but also the reputation in the field they work in”.

The range of drug testing that can occur will depend on the requirements of the customer.  Drug testing on the whole is normally performed randomly.  In some cases employers will insist on this being done prior to a new employee contract being implemented, or as part of a procedure when an accident does occur,  or even on suspicion of an employee.

Currently, employees still have the right to refuse a workplace drug test, and under current law businesses must have the consent of employees to whom they wish to screen for drugs.  However, should an employee refuse the test it may give grounds for the employer to test, and employees could then face the possibility of disciplinary action.  There are many industries today that hold the drug testing as part of the normal ‘safe working environment’ and therefore all employees under their umbrella are tested.

The increase in workplace drug testing has caused much debate and interest.  Director of Safety and compliance Neil Marsden said in the BBC report that, “we want to maintain a safe working environment for all our staff”, however, not all take this opinion and with the increases in drug testing, civil liberty groups are angered with the increase and call upon the practice as an invasion of people’s privacy.  Others, like ‘Release’ have stated that they have frequently taken calls from tested employees who had falsely tested positive for drugs.

Eating poppy seed bread can indicate the presence of opiates in some tests!

For further information regarding Claritest Workplace Testing Services, please contact us on     01603 358 161.


*BBC 03 October 2014)