Saliva testing for drugs better for your Victorian business


In our role, one of the questions we’ve been asked a lot since we started drug and alcohol testing over 15 years ago is which is best for my Victorian business, saliva testing or urine drug testing?

First of all, it’s best to declare that we’re somewhat biased when it comes to this question. Integrity Sampling was one of the pioneers of saliva testing for drugs in workplaces and today we’re still one of the few Australian companies to offer saliva testing in Victoria and across Australia.

However, we should also qualify that we do conduct drug testing using urine. While we prefer saliva testing, we’re more than happy to apply urine drug testing methods if your Melbourne or Victorian business prefers.

That being said, we still prefer saliva testing, and here’s why:

  • Conducting urine drug testing can be seen as invasive by some people. Saliva testing, however, isn’t. It’s a simple matter of a person rubbing a collection device around the inside of their mouth.
  • The potential to tamper or cheat the process is higher with urine drug testing than for saliva testing.
  • Urine drug testing can detect drugs that have been taken by a person 1 or 2 days earlier. This heightens the chances of someone who is fit and safe to work providing a positive result for drugs. Saliva testing for drugs has a narrower window of detection and is considered to be a more true test of whether someone is fit and safe to be at work.
  • Using hi-tech equipment – like the Drager DrugTest 5000 used by Integrity Sampling – saliva testing for drugs in your Victorian business is highly accurate. In fact, accuracy is greater than 99 per cent.

Fair Work decision on saliva drug testing – what it mean for your Victorian business?

The question on which is better, saliva testing or urine drug testing, is even something that’s been pondered by Fair Work Australia. The case involved Endeavour Energy, which wanted to use urine testing to drug test its 2600-plus employees. Fair Work Australia found that using urine drug testing was “unjust and unreasonable”.

They made this judgement essentially because:

  • Saliva testing was available.
  • Drug testing using urine could detect drug use from days earlier, while saliva testing detected drugs taken in the hours before the test.

The takeaway for all Victorian businesses is quite simple. If saliva testing is available you should take advantage of the benefits and use it. If, however, saliva testing for drugs is not available in your area, urine testing is still a reliable way of testing for drugs.

If you own or manage a business in Victoria and want to discuss the pros and cons of urine drug testing versus saliva testing further, contact Integrity Sampling. We provide our drug and alcohol management services in the Melbourne metro area, as well as the regional areas surrounding Mildura, Shepparton, Traralgon and Warrnambool. In addition, we have locations in South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and Tasmania.

View our Victorian branch page for more details.

Which is better for your Melbourne or Victorian business, urine testing or saliva drug testing?

By Michael

Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Melbourne and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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