Collecting personal information regarding substance misuse

When testing for alcohol or drugs in the workplace, you are dealing with employees ‘sensitive personal data’ under the Data Protection Act 1998 and so you need to be careful with how you deal with and process this information.

You must obtain clear and explicit employee consent, or establish the necessity of collecting the information in compliance with a legal obligation such as health and safety at work. You must also make sure the benefits gained to the business from processing the information about your employees health justifies the privacy intrusion.

To ensure the integrity of data collected from drug and alcohol testing, the collector must maintain the privacy and respect of the employees being tested.

As per John Wiley & Sons,
To ensure a balance between the privacy of the donor and the need to ensure the proper identification and integrity of the specimen, the following steps must be documented:

  • The verification of the identity of the donor.
  •  The proper identification of the specimen with its donor.
  • Ensuring that no adulteration or tampering took place.
  • Ensuring that no unauthorized access to the specimen was
    possible.
  • The secure transfer of the specimen to each person handling it.

Because the process is specific and has a data trail, if it is refuted at a later date then you can prove that the sample does in fact belong to the donor.

It is important that your employees are aware of the whole process, and that you ensure they know how data collected from them is going to be used.

Call us on 01302 365036 if you need information about Drug and Alcohol testing for your business or organisation. Workplace Drug Testing available in Doncaster, Barnsley, Sheffield and throughout South Yorkshire

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