Huntingdonshire District Council (HDC) is using a fingerprint-based drug test on its drivers and on applicants before they are offered permanent or temporary positions.
The council says it is using the Intelligent Fingerprinting drug screening system, which can deliver test results in 10 minutes, to help ensure that all its front-line safety-critical service staff, including refuse collection drivers of 26 tonne lorries, ground teams, and street maintenance staff working in busy traffic, are all working safely.
HDC has used drug testing to support its drug and alcohol policy for some time but has now replaced the previous urine-based testing service with the fingerprinting service.
Andrew Rogan, operations manager at HDC, said: “We are using the Intelligent Fingerprinting system to test all new permanent employees or agency staff for frontline services.
“These employees work in safety-critical roles, often work around machinery, and in a constantly changing environment so it is critical that they are alert and fit for duty.
“The fingerprint drug screening system is fantastic as it’s saving the council a huge amount of time and cost as we’re now able to conduct the tests in-house rather than using an external provider.”
Rogan says that having the system available for use whenever it’s needed also gives the council the flexibility to carry out tests at other times too, such as ‘for cause’ testing if it has reason to suspect drug use by an existing employee.
He continued: “We are finding the fingerprint system is giving us much greater control over our drug testing, and its efficiency is helping us to unlock immediate savings for the council.
“Thanks to the Intelligent Fingerprinting approach we have been able to implement remote training for our managers so they can carry out the testing themselves, and we’re confident in the results as the test is virtually impossible to tamper with.”
Intelligent Fingerprinting’s drug testing system features a small, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge onto which 10 fingerprint sweat samples are collected, in a process which takes less than a minute.
The Intelligent Fingerprinting portable analysis unit then reads the cartridge and provides a positive or negative result on-screen for all drugs in the test in 10 minutes.
Dr Paul Yates, from Intelligent Fingerprinting, said: “It’s good to hear that our fingerprint drug test is already saving Huntingdonshire District Council time and money while delivering a superior on-site service for their drug testing needs.
“Immediate efficiency savings include being able to carry out testing quickly and easily in the office and no longer needing to cordon off bathrooms to dedicate their use to urine testing.
“The council has also taken advantage of Intelligent Fingerprinting’s one stop service for both drug and alcohol tests so we’re providing the council with alcohol breathalysers too.”