Workers fail site drug tests “after taking cough syrup”

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

Construction workers are questioning the accuracy of site drug tests.

The Enquirer has been contacted by several agencies whose workers have failed pre-start drug tests on major sites.

But the operatives are adamant they have never taken illegal drugs and further checks by the agency confirmed they were telling the truth.

Doubts follow a landmark case last week which saw a Bristol bus driver win his tribunal case.

Alan Bailes from Bristol was sacked by First Bus following a positive drugs test.

But the tribunal ruled in his favour after hearing the test result could have been triggered by him handling bank notes contaminated with cocaine.

One agency boss said: “We supply operatives to a lot of major sites and have been having problems with this recently.

“One of our lads failed the initial test which was a nightmare for him and us because he was one of the first workers we’d placed on the site.

“The contractor had only carried out a swab test and our lad said he’d taken nothing stronger than cough syrup.

“We paid for a proper follow-up blood test which came back negative.

“But by that time the job had gone and everyone had been tarnished with this.”

Construction workers and some employers are now questioning the accuracy of tests.

One said: “These initial tests are becoming common but I’m not sure how accurate they are.

“They seem to be too sensitive because they keep coming back positive for the slightest thing.

“The problem is once a failed test is registered no-one wants to go through the expense of a proper blood test and everyone is immediately labelled as having a drug problem.”

Ean Lewin, Managing Director of testing specialist Dtec International Ltd said: “In my opinion the underlying issue is that too many simple unproven devices are available for purchase off the internet without suitable advice for its implementation.

“Some more systems are available from companies that are too focused on winning the contract by reducing cost to the employer and this is being done with screening results days after the sample or confirmation from the exact same sample.

“Whereas the truly safe systems use the best quality screeners, ones that have some government approvals like the police specification DrugWipe, then back this up with the gold standard urine sample professionally collected and analysed with a toxicologist review.

“Quality doesn’t come cheap, but neither does firing or even not employing good innocent employees.

“Employees should be made aware during the education stage that some medicines will trigger screening tests and must they understand this is necessary as they are the same medicines that are widely abused and will impair you.

“A good laboratory will see the difference and that the levels are therapeutic.”

Latest news

Kier raises £24m from Australian road business sell-off

KHSA road assets and management services business offloaded to pay down debt
2 hours ago

Wates rejigs construction senior management

Mark Tant promoted to new managing director role at construction division
23 hours ago

Stansted Airport expansion wins council approval

Ambitious airport expansion plans scrape through local planning
2 hours ago

Robot bricklayer builds house in under three days

Tech company hails a "quantum leap for the construction industry"
2 hours ago

Lendlease lands Oxford Street office and retail scheme

Main construction work to start early next year at Oxford House
2 hours ago

Green light for 335 PRS flats in Sheffield

Work to start next year on multi-block Sylvester Street scheme
2 hours ago

Alun Griffiths signs £70m final phase Worcester link road

Contractor to start work in March on A4440 Worcester Southern Link Road
22 hours ago

Interserve fights to quell stock market jitters

Share price rallies after plunging to all time low yesterday as group denies crisis
1 day ago

Crossrail contractors facing overtime clawback

Bills questioned in race to get the job completed
1 day ago

Heathrow names airport expansion delivery boss

KPMG's Emma-Jane Houghton joins in February and is in charge of procurement, contracts and costs
1 day ago

British Land aims to start £385m London project duo

Developer looks to start major Shoreditch scheme and Paddington hotel within 12 months
1 day ago

Sisk tipped for Sheffield Park Hill estate student scheme

Work to start early next year on plan to convert former housing block to student rooms
1 day ago

East London raid saves modern slavery victims

Man arrested and six potential victims safeguarded
1 day ago

Contractor closes down concrete products business

Mounting losses force Concrete Products (Kirkcaldy) to cease trading
2 days ago

Payroll company ceases trading blaming VAT changes

Sprite shuts down as tax change looms which could have huge impact on construction
2 days ago

HS2 unveils Crewe Link £1.6bn civils bid plan

HS2 Phase 2a to be split into two civils packages worth over £750m
2 days ago

Landsec grows London pipeline of work to £2bn

Developer confident about property market in the capital
2 days ago

Plan for Sheffield’s tallest building approved

32-storey private rental flats scheme gains outline planning
2 days ago

McCarthy & Stone plans more competitive tendering regime

Retirement homes specialist advances building cost reduction plan
2 days ago

£384m North London community scheme approved

Britannia Leisure scheme will be built next to Shoreditch Park in Hackney
2 days ago

Forrest sites closed as contractor tries to refinance business

Company denies administration rumours as talks with banks continue
3 days ago

Pre-construction work starts on £1bn Silvertown Tunnel

Specialist ITM Monitoring lands deal under pioneering Tfl framework
3 days ago

Wates appoints former Willmott Dixon finance chief

Philip Wainwright joins as new Chief Financial Officer
3 days ago

Spurs strike deal to use Wembley for whole season

Club agrees contingency plan if new stadium still not ready in the New Year
4 days ago

Galliford Try appoints new highways ops director

Three former Carillion directors now senior directors at highways business
3 days ago

Plan for £410m London Camden Lock estate rebuilds

Estate rebuilds and linked Barratt scheme will deliver 1,300 homes at Camden Goods Yard site
3 days ago

McAvoy wins Northumbria offsite hospital wing job

£15m order for new wing at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.
3 days ago

Strabag confirmed for potash mine tunnel fit-out

Yorkshire potash mine developer signs off final construction contract
3 days ago

Gravity probe could spell an end to hole digging on sites

Scientists get funding for new generation of sensors which could revolutionise ground investigation work
6 days ago

Amey wins £50m North West roads design

Amey Consulting secures Area 10 design deal adding to its maintenance contract
6 days ago

Contractor services