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Role of Occupational Health Services in Workplace Drug Testing

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 174 Issue: 2-3 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 103-106
Pirjo Lillsunde; Kristiina Mukala; Ritva Partinen; Matti Lamberg
Date Published
January 2008
4 pages
This article describes the role of Finland's occupational health services in workplace drug testing as defined in the country's Occupational Health Care Act.
In Finland, all workplace drug tests are conducted by health-services personnel according to prescribed occupational health care practice. A referral for a drug test is given by a physician or a nurse working in health care services. When giving the referral, the physician or nurse should inform the person to be tested of the purpose and content of the test, record any medications they may be using, and inform them that they can later dispute the result of the test. The identity of the person should be checked before taking a sample. The laboratory that analyzes the test sample sends the results of its analysis to the health care service unit that sent the sample. If the test result is positive, the laboratory provides a detailed analysis of the test result. The health care service worker then reports to the testee on the lab results. When the test result is positive, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) should interpret the results and assess whether the positive result is due to medication or another explanation offered by the testee. The MRO then informs the testee of options for drug abuse treatment contained in the required written drug-testing policy/program of the testee's employer/company. The drug-test certificate is issued by health care professionals according to the lab results. The certificate states that the employee has been tested for drug use and indicates whether or not the employee has used drugs for nonmedical purposes. The certificate also indicates whether the employee is fit for his/her assigned work tasks, is fit for the work under certain restrictions, or is unfit for the work. 4 figures and 9 references