Construction is one of the biggest sectors which contributes hugely to the economic growth of any nation. Be it residential or commercial buildings, roads, public spaces, highways, bridges, tunnels, or anything else, it helps establish connectivity between two areas and regions and generates high revenues. While it is necessary that all business sectors are safe and free from drug abuse, the important ones like construction must not have any employee under influence of drugs and alcohol while on duty. This is one sector, where one segment deals with physical labor, and the job is such is full of responsibility. So, it is crucial for this sector to be totally free of drug abuse in workplace. Also, this sector has certain legal standards and regulation to comply with.
The Health and Safety Act at Work demands employee drug testing to be carried out by employers. Studies show that almost 40% of the accidents which happen in the construction sector are due to drug abuse. In a bid to reduce this, most employers support drug testing of employees as per the company policies. Studies done by JK Gerber and GS Yacoubian Jr. show that performing drug tests on a periodic basis reduced drug abuse related incidents in the construction sector by 51%.
MedWay Onsite Health Services (OHS) conducts several types of drug tests based the requirements of companies. This has certainly helped companies curb the drug menace and allowed employees to get a chance to reform and refrain from drugs. Our drug and alcohol testing services help them meet the guidelines of mandated as well as non-mandated drug and alcohol testing such as under DOT or non-DOT.
Risks of Drug and Alcohol Abuse in the Construction Industry
The use of drugs and alcohol in a workplace not only adversely impacts the employees but the business, productivity, and the work environment as a whole. The same applies to the construction sector. Here are some of the risk factors involved.
- The stressful work hours, physical labor, and strenuous tasks may strain employees and make them vulnerable if they are unable to manage their stress. This very factor takes them a step closer to drug and alcohol abuse.
- The physically demanding work already has its own risk factors. If someone is under the influence of drugs, the possibility of mishaps on construction sites certainly increases.
- It may lead to uncontrolled or unsafe behavior, harming people on the site, blurred speech, and so on.
- The specific skills of workers as well as their fitness levels cannot be compromised upon in this sector. Still, this situation prevails.
Tests We Offer
The Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates testing for hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone and oxycodone according to the updated list of drugs, aside from the previous ones. Medway OHS has been instrumental in curbing this menace. Here are the drug tests we offer:
- Pre-employment Drug Testing: This is the most common drug test done by employers, and is highly recommended by DOT, especially for safety-sensitive jobs. We perform this type of testing on all the selected candidates for a particular job before they join the company. Hair strands are the most preferred specimen when it comes to pre-employment testing.
- Random Drug Testing: Random testing keeps the employees alert and prompts them to refrain from drugs due to the fear of testing positive. This is one type even we suggest every employer as these tests are conducted randomly or at a very short notice. So, it is difficult for employees to manipulate. Usually urine sample is taken for random tests. But, to avoid cheating and manipulation, we ensure there are reserved washrooms to collect the sample and our technicians are present at the site during sample collection. These reports are again confirmed from the lab.
- Post-incident Drug Testing: There is always a possibility of mishaps in the construction sector, despite all the safety norms in place. So, it is essential for the employers to conduct drug and alcohol tests on employees who meet with such accidents on the job. This is because the possibility of they being under influence of drugs cannot be ruled out unless tested. This test needs to be done within 36 hours of the mishap. We also conduct these tests to identify drugs that may have led to the accident. Saliva is the preferred sample in this case, which is later confirmed based on lab reports.
Different Types of Drug Tests Offered by MedWay OHS
At MedWay OHS, we conduct drug tests through various means and samples to rightly identify if a person is using drugs and which type of drugs, especially in harsh working environments such as the construction sector.
- Urine drug testing: This is the most common and the easiest method of drug testing, especially for random checking. It has a detection window of up to 30 days; however, this can be influenced by various metabolic factors, bodily fluids, water intake, and so on. Also, it is easy for employees to manipulate.
- Hair follicle drug testing: The traces of drugs consumed can be found in the hair and grow with them. They remain in the hair for a long time, and hence this test has a large window of up to 90 days. It is not easy for anyone to cheat in this test.
- Saliva Drug Testing: Drugs consumed by a person can be traced through a saliva specimen, quite accurately. Also, you can get instant results and it is difficult for employees to cheat or manipulate. For this, the testing window is up to 72 hours.
MedWay OHS helps many companies in the construction sector create a clean and safe working environment and reduce instances of drug abuse among employees. If you have any questions regarding our drug testing services or need to make an enquiry, you can reach us on phone or email.