Workplace drug testing the only way to know

How can you tell if an employee is under the influence? Workplace drug testing is the only way to know for sure. Credit Alexandre Debieve

You keep reading about the prevalence of drug abuse in the media and you can’t help but wonder if any of your employees are coming to work under the influence. Is it Shane, who often looks tired and has bloodshot eyes? Sarah, who regularly has days off and makes flimsy excuses? Or Cameron, who’s at best clumsy and last year alone was involved in four incidents at work?

How can you tell which of your employees could be coming to work under the influence?

Drug testing is the only way

The truth is that Shane, Sarah or Cameron could all be coming to work under the influence of drugs. Or none of them could.

There are a myriad of reasons why employees can look tired, have bloodshot eyes, have more days off work than others, be involved in more accidents, be unproductive, be aggressive, be violent and fall asleep in the lunchroom. It could be because they’re under the influence of drug or alcohol, but it might not.

While an employee may be acting quite differently and showing signs they could be drunk or under the influence of a drug there is only one way to know for sure. The only sure way to determine if a person is under the influence is by conducting workplace drug testing.

See the signs

While workplace drug testing is the only way to know for sure if someone is under the influence, there are signs that you can look out for to detect people who you possibly should be concerned about. These signs include:

  • Physical signs, such as bloodshot, glassy, red or unusual eye appearance, unsteady walking, tremors or shaking or flushed face.
  • Behavioural signs, such as a change in personality, poor coordination or concentration, frequent absences from work or lateness, neglect of personal appearance, frequent breaks, inconsistent work quality or other changes in performance.
  • You can also look out for the odours of alcohol or cannabis, drug paraphernalia or empty alcohol containers.
  • Communication issues, such as slurred speech or having more difficulty than normal expressing themselves.
  • Also look for physical symptoms. For example, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

If you do notice an employee with one or more of these signs and you are concerned they could be under the influence, remember to always be sensitive and respectful. Don’t accuse them of being under the influence – you won’t know until workplace drug testing is completed. Simply say that your concerned for their health and safety and that you’d like to conduct testing as per your company’s drug and alcohol policy.

Workplace drug testing methodology

Integrity Sampling recommends that businesses consider implementing a number of workplace drug testing methodologies.

  • Random testing, which means conducting workplace drug testing at random times and days, with a random selection of employees.
  • Incident testing, which involves conducting workplace drug testing on everyone involved in any accidents or incidents.
  • Causal testing, which is when an employee, contractor or other person on the worksite may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Pre-employment testing, where a person is commencing employment or changing their status undergoes workplace drug testing.

If you’d like to know more about conducting drug testing in your workplace, contact Integrity Sampling today.

How can you tell if an employee is under the influence? Workplace drug testing is the only way to know for sure.


How can you tell if an employee is under the influence? Workplace drug testing is the only way to know for sure. Credit Alexandre Debieve


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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