In many workplaces, mandatory drug testing is the order of the day. Drug testing is designed to keep the workplace safe and to ensure that employees don’t come to work under the influence. That results in better working conditions, more productive employees, and fewer workers’ compensation claims. Moreover, the use of drug test kits in the workplace also fosters a level of trust between the employees and the employers.
There are actually several ways that employers can legally test employees for evidence of drug use. This includes pre-employment drug testing as part of the hiring process, random drug testing while on the job and scheduled drug tests. In each case, there are two basic types of drug test kits that can be used: single-panel kits and multi-panel kits. Here, we’ll discuss the differences between the two.
Single-Panel Drug Testing Kits
Are used to detect the presence of a single drug (marijuana, for example) by testing a sample of the employee’s urine or saliva
Are easy to use, affordable and offer quick results
Multi-Panel Drug Test Kits
Can test for two or more drugs at a time, upwards of 12 different substances
Can test for a wide range of substances, including barbituates, cocaine, ecstasy, opiates, oxycodone, and marijuana with a single sample
Both types of testing kits can be used for testing in the workplace, but there are several reasons why many employers choose the multi-panel kit option. First, they are more convenient. One of the biggest convenience factors is that because these kits come in cup form, with the test card attached to the cup, there is no need to handle the test sample. Just peel off the label to see the test results.
These kits are also more cost effective than single-panel kits because, as mentioned, you can test for several drugs with one test. Although they do cost more per test, it is usually only necessary to use one per employee, whereas you would have to use a separate test per drug, per employee, if using single-panel tests.
Multi-panel drug testing kits also offer several options that are not available with single-panel tests. For example, these kits allow for temperature checks, which measures the temperature of a urine sample to ensure that it is between 95 and 100 degrees F within 3-4 minutes after collection. If not, that’s a good indication that an abusing employee, looking to pass the drug test dishonestly, has probably adulterated the sample in some way.
Finally, because you can test for several drugs with one test, it is less likely that an employee will be able to fly under the radar.
If you are an employer looking to implement drug testing for your employees, it’s important to understand your options. If you are a small workplace and you are looking to test for something in particular, a single-panel test kit is probably sufficient. If you want the convenience and thoroughness of checking for several substances all with one test, however, a multi-panel test is the way to go.