Drug screening – do you have a process in place?
Are you carrying out effective drug screening within your organisation? Following on from our Drug Driving Session at the Health and Safety Event, an official report has been published by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), advising that there are substantially more drug drivers on our roads than drink drivers.
The report presents the findings from a nationwide crackdown on drink and drug driving known as Operation Limit, which saw all 43 UK police forces increase efforts to catch offenders from November 2022 through to January 2023.
It was the largest ever coordinated campaign of its kind and saw an 18 per cent rise in arrests with 6,130 drivers caught compared with 5,186 during the same period in 2021. The NPCC reports that drug driving has overtaken drink driving, with findings showing an average of 80 motorists per day are caught unfit to drive through drugs.
Commercial vehicles – drug driving risk
Operators of commercial vehicles, company cars, vans, HGV’s and coaches are particularly at risk because in some parts of the UK, over half of those caught drug driving are driving to work or for work!
There is no hiding from the fact that this is a very sensitive and emotive subject for fleet operators and driver managers to tackle. However, with drug taking having become so prevalent within our society, addressing the challenge now surely outweighs the risks of ignoring it.
Drug screening – your driving for work policy.
Do you have the right driving for work policies, procedures and protections in place? You perhaps won’t know if you don’t know what to look for.
6 things to check when implementing a drug screening solution in your business:
- Efficiency – Ensure the drug screening device provides quick, efficient, and reliable results. Look for a device that produces a result in around five minutes, as this will help you avoid a lengthy and potentially costly process.
- Portability – Ideally, your drug screening solution should be portable, as this allows practical screening both on or off site, at short notice or at the roadside, without the restrictions of a reader. This will also ensure flexibility for your organisation when carrying out pre-employment screening, random screening, and post-incident investigations.
- Dignity – Preserving the dignity of your employees is important when it comes to choosing a drug screening device. You should look for a solution that is able to obtain a sample quickly and is both non-invasive and non-intrusive.
- Reliability – It is imperative that your chosen drug screening device obtains a sample from areas of the body which have reduced risk of contamination, in comparison to areas such as the hands, which have more risk of coming into contact with traces of substances.
- Credibility – Consider looking for an organisation which has Home Office Type Approval for drug testing to guarantee credibility.
- Capability – Ensure your chosen drug screening device is able to accurately screen for the UK’s five most prevalent drugs – these are; Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Meth Amphetamines and Opiates.
If you are looking to implement drug and alcohol screening as part of your driving for work policy within your organisation, but are unsure of where to start, Driving for Better Business Partners, drug and alcohol screening specialist D.tec International, will be able to advise you on policy development and implementation. They are the UK provider of the DrugWipe Dual, a unique saliva and skin drug screener and they have a complete training and education programme.
For each new customer sign up, D.tec will provide one free online training session to ensure your designated screener feels competent and confident carrying out drug screening within your organisation. To utilise this offer, please get in touch with them at email@example.com.
If you would like to watch a recording of the Drug Driving presentation we did with D.tec in the Driver Safety Theatre, including the audience Q&A, you can watch it here.
Alternatively, there is a shorter audio podcast covering much of the same drug screening and drug driving at work content here.
Both of these pieces of content will help you understand what you need to include in your driving for work policy.