Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
May 15, 2018

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Drug Use

One in 10 suspect colleagues are taking drugs at work

One in 10 workers have suspected a colleague has taken illegal drugs while at work, according to a new survey.

The research by Intelligent Fingerprinting, which produces drug screening systems, to examine attitudes to drug screening in the workplace found 13% of those surveyed believe a colleague has taken drugs at work.

The survey also found that more than a third (43%) worry that working alongside someone under the influence of drugs could make their workplace unsafe.

And one in five (20%) admitted they had taken no action to help or confronted a colleague who they believe was taking drugs.

The research also found there were some regional variations.

In London, almost a quarter (24%) of workers have suspected a colleague of taking drugs at work, while in the North East the figure is just 6%.

Intelligent Fingerprinting Director, Dr Paul Yates said while drug misuse has always been a concern when it comes to health and safety in the workplace, this research “suggests the issue could be even more widespread than previously thought”.

“It is clear that drug usage not only puts the safety of individual employees at risk, but also contributes to the cumulative workplace accidents that cost the UK some £4 billion every year,” added Dr Yates.

“It’s particularly an issue in those sectors where drug misuse takes place in safety-critical working environments such as construction, manufacturing, logistics, public transport networks and utilities.”

“What is notable from the research is that colleagues are reluctant to act – perhaps because they do not have the ability to provide proof or evidence that drug usage has actually taken place,” said Dr Yates.

“Employers who do implement a drug and alcohol policy are often frustrated by the practical challenges within their specific workplaces.

“Operating a traditional drug screening service using urine tests on a construction site, for example, is rather inconvenient.

“It’s perhaps no surprise that our new fingerprint-based drug screening test – thanks to its portability, ease-of-use and non-invasive approach – is already generating interest from those health & safety managers and occupational health professionals who are responsible for safety in the workplace.

“It takes only a few seconds to collect a fingerprint sweat sample and screens for multiple drugs of abuse – amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates – in a single test, delivering results in under eight minutes. It’s an ideal platform for spontaneous workplace drug screening and we know that regular random drug screening, combined with an effective drug and alcohol policy, acts as a strong deterrent to drug use in the workplace,” added Dr Yates.



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Douglas Cameron
Douglas Cameron
6 years ago

What was the total number interviewed I wonder and from what sectors, age and location?