Friday, November 8, 2013

Kinds Of Worker Drug Screening

Employee drug screening tests are used to determine if a worker is using illegal drugs and alcohol. An employer sometimes requires drug testing prior to hiring a candidate, or the testing is randomly done on current employees to ensure a safe work environment.

Urine Analysis

Urine analysis is the screening of an employee's urine for the presence of illegal drugs. The worker is usually required to give a urine sample at a specific location, such as a medical office, to avoid the chance of falsifying the test by using another person's urine. The test looks for metabolites -- residual traces of the drug that linger in the body -- and for traces of alcohol in some cases. Urine tests for alcohol are not entirely accurate, per the U.S. Department of Labor, as the fluid passes quickly though the body.

Saliva Analysis

Saliva swabbed from the inside of an employee's mouth (usually from the inner cheek lining) is checked for drugs in a saliva test. Certain drugs, such as marijuana and methamphetamines, are detected by this method. Oral fluids are much harder to "substitute" than urine, potentially giving the employer more reliable results if he suspects his worker or possible hire is on drugs and hiding the problem.

Hair Testing

A tiny swatch of a worker's hair is used for hair drug testing, and the act is less invasive of privacy than urine or saliva analysis. Some drugs, such as alcohol, cocaine and heroin, linger in hair longer than in body fluids. Hair testing does not work for alcohol use, per the United States Department of Labor.

Blood Tests

Blood drawn from an employee measures the amounts of drugs in her system at the time the blood is collected. Some drugs pass to urine quickly and do not stay in the blood long, so the blood test method is more useful for an employee who is suspected of being under the influence at the time, such as after a workplace accident.

Perspiration Tests

Sweat from an employee's skin is evaluated for drugs in a perspiration test. A skin patch is placed on the employee's body for varying spans of time, depending on what drugs are being looked for. The sweat test is not often used in a work environment, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and is more commonly found in the criminal probation system as of February 2011.

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