Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Mace introduces fingerprint drug testing

21 December 2020

Mace has introduced fingerprint drug tests that can detect drug use among construction workers within around 10 minutes.

The Intelligent Fingerprinting system collects and analyses tiny traces of fingerprint sweat and supports Mace’s random drug testing of all employees from directors to labourers.

It is being used to enforce Mace’s contractual drug usage policy, required by major contractors on construction projects, as well as forming part of the company’s ‘fitness for work’ and employee wellbeing initiatives.

Mace said it had selected the fingerprint method ahead of urine and saliva tests as Intelligent Fingerprinting’s portable solution enables on-site drug tests at its construction sites.

The company added that it was committed to offering support to any employees who may have a drug usage problem, providing them with a range of support options through their HR function.

Earlier this year, Masterson Holdings, the parent company of concrete frame specialist GetJar, Atlantic Contracts and Glencoe Plant Services announced that it would also use the Intelligent Fingerprinting system.

Meanwhile, Staffordshire-based Chasetown Civil Engineering has also adopted the tests.

Karl Griffin, HSE director at Chasetown said: “Due to the nature of our projects, our employees often drive heavy machinery such as earth mover, excavators and dumpers. That’s why we operate a no-tolerance drug and alcohol policy, to ensure our employees are always fit to handle or be around such potentially dangerous machinery. For years we have used an in-house saliva test for limited random testing or after a rare incident or report of a concern, for example.

“However, we were really attracted to the Intelligent Fingerprinting method. Not only can I carry out the drug test myself and get rapid results as required, but I’m also able to collect samples while maintaining social distancing from the employee – a major benefit when we’re trying to keep our workforce moving during the pandemic. Both parties can also wear masks throughout the test if needed.”

Dr Paul Yates of Intelligent Fingerprinting said: “The Intelligent Fingerprinting method tests for evidence of very recent drug use – enabling organisations like Chasetown Civil Engineering to determine more accurately whether an employee is fit to work while on site.

“We’re already working with several construction firms that appreciate the benefit of our easy-to-use screening test to reinforce their health and safety policies. Intelligent Fingerprinting testing can be carried out without expensive external testing support and because no specialist testing areas or biohazardous disposal services are required, the process is simple to use in-house as often as required.”