The consequences of a drop in safety standards at National Key Points, Strategic Installations and Places of Importance don’t only have legal implications. They can also mean loss of life and the interruption of strategic services, so it is vital that clear procedures, reliable instrumentation and trained personnel are in place to monitor potential dangers such as substance abuse by employees.
Reliable substance abuse instrumentation is vital
Said Michael Crossland of PSA: “KwaZulu-Natal is home to many South African National Key Points such as oil refineries, airports, harbour facilities and privately owned entities declared ‘important’ under the 2006 Act. We also know that in industry in general, substance abuse is on the rise and can have dire consequences in terms of safety, morale and production. Reliable detection solutions, used by competent personnel in conjunction with a sound health and safety policy, are vital in optimising safety and security at these important facilities.”
Investing in high quality detection equipment can save time and money in retesting. It can also avoid loss of life in cases where the abuse is masked and undetected by lower grade instruments,and the employee returns to work, putting colleagues and the facility in danger.
PSA supplies world-renown Lifeloc instruments to test for substance abuse
Professional grade alcohol detection instruments are alcohol specific and highly advanced to ensure that the correct results are obtained. “We supply the world-renown Lifeloc portable breathalysers and calibrate them on a regular basis, usually every six to 12 months, to ensure the continued accuracy of the units,” said Crossland.
The most common form of drug screening in the workplace is urine testing. This is an accurate way of screening employees for the presence of a large variety of both legal and illegal drugs. “We recommend the Noble Split-Specimen Cup system as it is reliable and easy to use. Any positive result should be sent to a pathology laboratory for confirmation, further ensuring the accuracy of the initial test.”
Substance abuse testing systems that are recognised by the CCMA
The results of both the Lifeloc and Noble testing systems are recognised in CCMA cases. PSA provide employee training on the use of these systems and the interpretation of results obtained. Various levels of training can be provided on or off-site, depending on customer requirements and the suitability of facilities.
Employees that successfully complete the training modules receive certification that deems them competent to carry out testing in their workplace. “They become an important part of the safety chain, keeping our essential facilities functioning efficiently and without dangerous or wasteful disruption,” said Crossland.