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Workplace drug testing during the coronavirus pandemic

The following are some advice for companies that are continuing workplace drug testing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Should workplace drug testing stop because of the coronavirus? 

The coronavirus pandemic may be a time of great social anxiety in fear due to confinement, stress about health and the future, and concerns about job security. These are all factors that may contribute to an increase in the potential for harms associated with alcohol and other drugs.

Workplace drug testing does not need to be discontinued provided more intensive safety precautions are followed during the pandemic.

Andatech offers the following advice in order to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus within the workplace while maintaining a strict drug testing policy. 

Provide a safe environment for both employees and collectors for drug testing

Prepare a testing room that can be easily and efficiently sanitised between each new person being tested. All surfaces, including countertops, chairs and doorknobs, should be cleaned thoroughly using alcohol wipes between each test. The Australian Department of Health provides guidance on effective cleaning and disinfection to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Provide protective wear

Practice social distancing as much as possible and avoid touching others during the testing procedure. Wear protective gear and practice personal hygiene by washing hands with soap for 20 seconds after close contact with others or touching surfaces.

Therefore, employers should provide sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks and gloves to all collectors. The Australian Department of Health recommends taking extra precautions around any body fluids. Face shields or masks are worn to protect both collectors and test subjects. Disposable gloves should be changed after each test subject.

Reduce physical contact time

Make appointment slots for drug or alcohol testing to stagger test times and limit crowding. 

Additionally, explore options to test at a distance and minimise contact between collectors and employees. This may include allowing employees to administer an oral swab themselves while collectors monitor from a distance or separate room. 

 

For further advice on the Coronavirus and how to protect your workplace and employees, please read the Australian Government Department of Health’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for employers.

Follow the Department of Health website for the latest information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Also read: Coronavirus and the use of breathalysers

DISCLAIMER: The guidelines above serves as a suggestion on reducing probability of the transmission of infection viruses. Andatech shall not be responsible or liable for any transmission or contraction of infectious viruses through the use or conduct of drug and alcohol testing kits.


Jaka Exstrada

Jaka has been a long-standing employee with Andatech, and has a background in events, marketing, and hospitality business management. An accredited Drug and Alcohol Officer for Drug Abuse Testing, Jaka brings valuable insight into the fields of drug testing. With his knowledge, companies also consult Jaka for drug and alcohol policies, and regulations- all of which he provides briefs on drug abuse information in the workplace.