Toxicology

Support Services

In order to effectively implement a robust drug and alcohol testing programme, we understand that our customers will need support to do so. That is why we can help you review your drug and alcohol policy, train and educate your workforce and management teams, collect your samples following robust chain of custody procedures, check your workforce is safe to work whilst taking medication and give you options other than dismissal with positive tests via our fit to return programme.

Our policy specialists will work with you to understand the risks posed by drug and alcohol misuse in your workplace and ensure you have a substance misuse policy to effectively manage those risks. The policy will support your programme of drug and alcohol testing, ensuring disciplinary action following a positive test result is detailed within the policy and consequently enforceable. The policy will be compliant with local legislation and industry regulations.

Our advice follows a proven structured approach based on industry best practice. We clearly explain the factors and consequences that should be considered when developing and implementing a programme of testing. Having advised many companies across a wide range of industries, we have the experience and knowledge to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes within a policy that might otherwise only come to light when the policy is challenged.

A Drug and Alcohol Policy should be fair, simple and easy to understand for all employees and align it with the culture, vision and working practices of your company.

We can help you by reviewing your Drug and Alcohol Policy or going that step further and helping you write it. We can also help with union consultations during the development and/or implementation of policies and testing programmes, to give them a full understanding of testing.

Why do I need a policy?

A good drug and alcohol policy enables employers to communicate the organisation’s attitude to drugs and alcohol, empowers employees to maintain a safe working environment and ensures a clear understanding of expectations between management and staff.

The benefits of having a robust drug and alcohol testing program are numerous and include:

  • Increased safety of employees and the public
  • Actively executes your duty of care
  • Protects your company reputation
  • Increased health of employees which improves attendance and productivity
  • Advises employees how they can get help for alcohol and substance misuse
  • Supports employees during recovery helping them get back to work
  • Reduced risk of litigation due to accidents where drugs and/or alcohol were factors
  • Increased chances of winning tenders where drug and alcohol policies are required
  • Reduced insurance premiums

Once your policy has been written it needs to be effectively communicated to your workforce so that everybody has a clear understanding of the rules and employees are empowered to maintain a safe working environment.

Under Health & Safety at Work legislation everyone has a responsibility to be fit for work. Although drug and alcohol use might be considered a personal responsibility, an employee’s behaviour might harm other colleagues, or even the public. Therefore, if somebody has concerns about another colleague’s ability to do their work, they need to know how they can take action.

Our dedicated Training Department will work with you to create a bespoke training package that suits your requirements. Courses include practical tasks and quizzes to assess the competence of delegates, checking that the key points of the training are understood.

Manager Awareness Training

It is vital that managers and supervisors understand their responsibilities regarding your drug and alcohol policy. We ensure that managers know how to recognise the signs and symptoms of drug and/or alcohol use. We also explain what action they should take in accordance with your policy including;

  •  When and how testing can be initiated
  •  How to handle situations where drug and/or alcohol use is suspected
  •  Which drugs we will be testing for
  • What to do when you receive a test result
  • Your disciplinary procedures
  •  Where and how to get further assistance
  • We recommend that on-going refresher training is delivered at least every 2 years and that you run a course every year to capture new starters.

Contact us to book a session

Specimen Collection Training

If you choose to collect your own samples rather than using one of our Collecting Officers, then comprehensive training in sample collection and chain of custody protocols is essential to ensure the robustness of your testing.

Delegates will be trained so they are confident and competent in sample collection. Upon successful completion of a theory and practical assessment each delegate is issued with a certificate of competency. This ensures that all of your Collecting Officers can evidence appropriate training, and that you can feel assured your drug and alcohol testing programme is carried out smoothly and efficiently, with no concerns for the competency of the Collecting Officer.

  •    Information on drug and alcohol metabolism
  •    Screening and confirmation testing
  •    Importance of Chain of Custody protocols
  •    Result interpretation
  •    Pre-collection preparation
  •    Sample collection
  •    Troubleshooting
  •    Theory and practical assessment

To ensure the continued competency of all your Collection Officers, we recommend they attend a training course at least every two years.

Contact us to book a session

Medical Review Officer Workshops

Our Medical Review Officer (MRO) Workshop provides delegates with the training they need to understand all aspects of the drug testing process, as well as an understanding of how the MRO role fits within a drug testing policy and programme.

The MRO fulfils an important role within workplace drug testing. In assessing whether there is a legitimate reason for a positive drug testing result, they must have a good understanding of all parts of the drug testing process as well as issues related to drug use and abuse.

You will be awarded 5 CPD points on completion of the MRO Workshop, approved by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine.

Contact us to book a session

Results Recipient Training

Taking inappropriate action following a drug and alcohol test result can lead to Employment or Industrial Tribunals, payment of compensation, lost time defending claims of unfair dismissal, legal fees, and bad publicity.

Our Training seeks to educate attendees to take the correct action and avoid unnecessary disputes. Delegates will leave with a clear understanding of what test results mean and will have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. By learning how to identify which employees represent risk they will be able to prioritise return to work more speedily and be confident on how to take appropriate action including disciplinary proceedings.

Our Results Recipient Training covers many elements including an outline of the testing processes and the interpretation of results and will answer the following questions:

  • What is the difference between screening and confirmation testing?
  • What happens if someone is taking medication?
  • Is a positive result always considered a fail?
  • Do negative results always mean no further action is required?
  • Why might the laboratory reject a sample?
  • What are considered breaks in Chain of Custody?
  • How do I take appropriate action?
  • What examples can we learn from?
  • How do I discuss the result with the donor – having positive conversations?

Contact us to book a session

Our global network of over 900 Collecting Officers provides impartial and legally defensible sample collections with minimum disruption to your operations. Each Collecting Officer undergoes comprehensive training. Regular auditing across the network means that you and your staff can be confident of a consistent, high quality service wherever you are in the world.

You will also receive a professional and personal approach to testing, with our Collecting Officers understanding the sensitivities of different cultures and environments. We collect from many types of location, including workplace offices, vessels, oil rigs, homes and many more.

Responsiveness

Responsiveness in the event of an emergency is vital, which is why our network is on call around the clock, every day of the year. In 2018 the UK Collecting Officers managed to arrive at a customer site on average within 1 hour and 27 minutes following an emergency call out request.

Features

  • Over 900 Collecting Officers covering the UK and over 1,000 ports worldwide
  •  Comprehensive training and regular auditing
  •  Professional and friendly approach
  •  Robust collection procedures
  •  Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  •  Minimum disruption to your operations

UK Medical Clinics

Our growing network of UK medical clinics enable our customers to send employees and candidates for employment to one of our dedicated testing sites. We can work with the donor directly to schedule the test allowing you to get on with running your business.

Find out about our Occupational Health Services

Dismissal is not the only option when companies are faced with a positive result from an employee drug or alcohol test. Our Fit to Return Programme provides a credible alternative, supporting the employee whilst continuing to manage the risks associated with recreational substance use.

  • The deterrent of drug and alcohol testing is maintained.
  • The risk presented by the employee is managed.
  • The health and wellbeing of the employee is improved.
  • There is a demonstrable return on investment.

Compared to dismissal, the programme

  • Offers significant cost savings by avoiding the need to recruit and train replacement staff.
  • Avoids potentially expensive tribunals in situations where dismissal is likely to be challenged.
  • Helps demonstrate a company’s social responsibility by helping the employee address lifestyle choices.
  • Provides the employee an opportunity to retain employment if they adhere to the terms of the Programme.

Features

  • Assistance provided to create a ‘Fit to Return Agreement’ between employer and employee, detailing the conditions to attend and adherence.
  • Classroom-based high intensity Drug and Alcohol Awareness and Support Course, with key objectives of understanding the risks of misuse and how to change lifestyle choices to support fitness to work.
  • Unannounced follow-up drug and alcohol testing over 6 months, ensuring the deterrent of testing is maintained.
  • On-going telephone support line for 6 months, with 24/7 access to a team of specialists to help with any personal problems impacting drug or alcohol consumption.

Course Content

  • The effects of drugs and alcohol on the body.
  • The risks associated with drug and alcohol misuse in the workplace and how to reduce them.
  • Putting drug and alcohol policy rules into context.
  • Tools and techniques to help individuals change their lifestyle choices.

Who FTR is aimed at?

  • An employee who has failed a company drug or alcohol test and:
  • Does not claim to have a substance misuse dependency problem.
  • Believes they can change their recreational drug or alcohol consumption and is committed to do so.
  • Is committed to participating in the Programme, including follow up unannounced testing.

We’ve created Chemist on Call to allow our customers to check that their staff are safe to work whilst taking medications.

Without checking in place, medications can cause serious accidents through unwanted side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness and lack of concentration – particularly hazardous in ‘safety-critical’ environments.

Whatever medication your employees are taking, our Pharmacists provide confidence that your workforce receives the most appropriate advice on the risk of side effects, providing clear instructions on work restrictions, if necessary.

Features

  • Easy access via telephone or website both PIN protected for confidentiality
  •  Fast response times via online and telephone checks
  •  No hassle to administer - minimal involvement from HR departments
  • Clear recommendations provided
  • Staff literature to help you communicate to your teams to build engagement
  • Always available 24/7, 365 days a year

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