These are the most frequently asked questions we receive from our clients. If you don’t see the answer you’re looking for, feel free to get in touch.
01WHY SHOULD MY COMPANY HAVE AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING PROGRAM?
If you are regulated by the Canada Department of Transportation, an alcohol and drug testing program is mandatory, and failure to comply could result in fines or being blocked from travelling to the Canada. For non-regulated companies, a testing program is highly recommended because alcohol and drug use among workers in safety-sensitive positions can put employees, the public and the environment at risk. By reducing injuries, accidents and illnesses, you not only promote safety, you potentially lower your liability risk and insurance premiums.
02DO I NEED A DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING PROGRAM POLICY?
Yes. Developing a program policy is necessary to ensuring your program is defensible and meets certain human rights requirements. We assist with developing and implementing a policy that meets your company’s needs.
03+ AS AN EMPLOYER, WHICH TYPES OF DRUGS SHOULD I TEST FOR?
We conduct a standard 5-panel drug test for Canada. regulated employers. For workplaces that are not regulated, we can customize drug testing panels on request. It is important to note that we do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach – if you don’t need it, we won’t sell it to you.
04+ HOW DO I AS AN EMPLOYER DETERMINE WHICH TYPE OF DRUG TEST TO USE (ORAL FLUID, HAIR, OR URINE) AND WHETHER I ORDER A LAB-BASED OR AN EXPRESS TEST?
For employees in safety-sensitive positions, lab-based oral fluid and urine testing are the most common sample types, each with advantages and disadvantages in specific situations. For instance, oral fluid testing can provide shorter time windows of detection (i.e. hours, not days) for some drugs, and depending on the cutoff levels, the results could potentially indicate impairment in proximity to the test. Urine provides a longer history of use with a focus on risk as opposed to impairment. Express or Point of Care Testing using oral fluid is not as reliable as lab-based oral fluid tests, particularly when it comes to marijuana. Also, a point of care test is not a confirmation test. A POCT non-negative result must be confirmed by a lab-based test.
05+ SHOULD I ORDER TESTING FOR MORE DRUGS THAN THOSE INCLUDED IN THE STANDARD 5-PANEL TEST?
We can create a customized panel for your testing needs, if required. Some employers choose to do 12-panel testing, but the necessity of testing for all of the drugs on that panel is debatable. Certain drugs on this panel, like propoxyphene, are no longer on the market and we do not want clients to pay extra for drug tests that are unnecessary.
06+ WHAT ARE THE DOT CUTOFF LEVELS FOR ALCOHOL?
Employees who are regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (because of cross-border travel) will be suspended for 24 hours if they test at a level between and including 0.02 to 0.039. Although the suspension from performing safety-sensitive duties is mandatory, this is not considered a major violation of DOT rules for test results within this range. However, if the test result is 0.04 or higher, it is considered a violation of DOT testing program rules, and the driver cannot drive into the Canada until he/she goes through the mandatory DOT return to duty process. For unregulated employees, there is no mandated workplace test cutoff level for alcohol, but there are recommended limits. The Canada regulations are recognized as the gold standard for In Alberta, the Canadian Model for Providing a Safe Workplace suggests limiting breath alcohol concentration to below 0.04.