Feelgood AB, Section for Traffic and Transportation, Stockholm, Sweden
Since 1994 Stockholm county purchases the public transport from private firms on commercial basis. The contract contain demands for drug testing before employment, after accidents, at return to duty after absence for 1 year or more and finally of 10% of the employees every year. At least must alcohol, opiates, amphetamine, cocaine and cannabis be tested for, which is done in the random testing programme. In all other cases -as also in the case of suspicion- dextropropoxyphene and benzodiazepines are included.
From Jan 1998 up to now more than 6 200 urine samples for drug testing have been taken. 1 325 of them were random testing. 2.4% of all samples were positive in screening test. After verification and review by the MRO, 0.7% were positive for illicit drugs. True positive samples taken randomly have decreased from 0.9% 1998 to 0.2 and 0.3% 1999 and 2000, respectively. Pre-employment testing gives positive results in about 0.5% through the years.
Creatinine <4 mmol/l is seen in about 10% of pre-employment tests and in about 4% of the random tests. This is a problem, that will be discussed.
Refusals in the random situation have been very few, probably due to education of key persons and intensive information to the employees.
Positive side effects of the programme have been a higher awareness of drug (medicine) use on the whole, and a more aware middle management with respect to alcohol use among the employees. Due to the obvious difficulties in testing persons who are always on the move, we started with a low test frequency of only 10% of the staff every year, divided in 4 test periods. From 2001 the random test frequency will probably be increased to 25%. Practical experiences from testing drivers will be presented at the meeting.
Dr Hans-Erik Norbeck is a specialist in occupational medicine and medical advisor to the Public Transport companies in the Stockholm region, Sweden. He also is MRO for the drug testing programme among the employees in the bus, metro and commuter train systems. He is a board member of the Swedish Association for Traffic Medicine, and also serves as an advisor to the Swedish National Rail Administration in its work with regulations concerning health and security.
EWDTS ® 2021, The European Workplace Drug Testing Society
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