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21 Jan 2022

Periodic drug testing

Periodic drug testing is widely used throughout safety critical industries.

Periodic workplace drug testing

How does periodic drug testing differ from random drug testing in the workplace?

Periodic drug testing is usually a mandatory requirement for most safety critical roles in an organisation. It means that an employee will normally be drug tested at least once annually. This is regardless of whether they are randomly selected for drug testing. Random drug testing should be conducted across the entire workforce for fairness and transparency. Although an organisation can partition the randomisation process towards more safety critical positions if there is a justification for it.

What types of samples are used for periodic drug testing?

The preferred sample type and method for periodic drug testing is the urine laboratory drug test. Alcohol can ether be tested in the urine or using a calibrated breathalyser. As periodic drug testing is normally scheduled and announced, organisations tend not to use the rapid urine drug test for this purpose. In addition, a urine sample is preferred to a saliva sample due to the longer drug detection window urinalysis can provide.

Finally, due to the nature of periodic drug testing, and the professionals being tested, there is usually no objection by employees. This is a good example of an organisation embedding drug and alcohol testing into the health and safety culture of the business.

How much is periodic drug testing?

As with pre-employment drug testing, prices can start as low as £60 per person for the laboratory urine drug test. Again, this depends on a high number of employees being tested at the same time. Look at our drug and alcohol testing prices for some examples of costs.