On-Site Testing: Why Proper Specimen Collection Technique is so Important

With the right device, drug testing is now easier than ever before.

While advances in drug test technology make the test simple and accurate, following proper specimen collection technique is just as important in obtaining a test result that you can stand behind—and that will stand up in court.

As more Canadian employers look to drug testing to help keep their workplaces safe, it is important that these drug tests are performed properly. Failing to follow proper specimen collection technique can treat people unfairly, waste time and money, and expose companies to liabilities and potential lawsuits.

 

Drug Testing in the Workplace

Drug testing is a high-stakes business. The decisions made and actions taken as the result of a drug test result a drug test result can have a significant impact on the donor. If an employee is terminated as the result of a positive test result, for example, that employee could try to challenge the termination in court with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit.

 

Defensible Results

In any situation where you have to defend the result of a drug test, you need to be certain that

  1. The device was licensed correctly.
  2. The device was used properly.
  3. The sample was collected properly.
  4. The device functioned as expected.
  5. The employee’s rights were respected.
  6. The result is defensible.

 

Proper Licensing

Without a Class III licensed device and recognized device training, it can be difficult or even impossible to defend the validity of your results. In the case of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, failure to demonstrate that proper specimen collection and testing techniques were followed could result in the employer being responsible for lost back wages, legal fees, and damages.

The surest way to prevent situations like the above is to follow proper specimen collection technique using a properly licensed device. A specimen collector must make sure that

  1. The device has a Health Canada Class III licence.
  2. The device instructions were followed exactly.
  3. The control test functioned as expected.
  4. The result was confirmed in a laboratory.
  5. The laboratory result was reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO).

The Drug and Alcohol Testing Association of Canada (DATAC) offers online courses that take the guesswork out of specimen collection. For more information, visit datac.ca or call 1 (866) 324-7093.

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