Aerospace and Defense Employee Screening

Aerospace and Defense Drug Testing: Ensuring a Safe and Productive Workplace

Maintaining a safe and productive workplace is a crucial aspect of any organization, particularly in the aerospace and defense industry where the stakes are high. The use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace can significantly impact an employee’s ability to perform their duty, and consequently, can jeopardize the safety of their colleagues and the general public. It’s essential for employers to take proactive steps to ensure their workers are sober and alert while on the job. One of these important steps is drug testing. This post seeks to provide information about Aerospace and Defense drug testing, including what it is, why it’s important, and how it can be implemented.

What is a 5 panel drug test?

A 5 panel drug test is a common drug testing method that screens for five drug classes: amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, and phencyclidine (PCP). The drug screen is typically conducted using a urine sample. While not as comprehensive as other drug tests, like the 10-panel drug test, which we’ll discuss later in this post, the 5-panel test is sufficient for many industries, especially for pre-employment screening.

What is a 10 panel drug test?

The 10-panel drug test expands on the 5-panel drug test by adding tests for five more drug classes: barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, methaqualone, and propoxyphene. Benzodiazepines, for example, are a drug class commonly prescribed for anxiety and panic disorder. While these drugs are legal when prescribed by a doctor, they can have adverse effects on an employee’s ability to perform their job. The 10-panel drug test is typically used in industries where safety is paramount, such as the aerospace and defense industry.

Oral Fluid Drug Testing

Oral fluid drug testing is a relatively new drug testing method that screens for drugs using a mouth swab. Also known as saliva testing, it’s a non-invasive and painless method of drug testing. The benefits of oral fluid testing are that it can provide results quickly and accurately detect recent drug use. This method of testing is becoming increasingly popular in industries where employees’ privacy is a priority. Oral fluids sometimes yields more positives as it makes it more difficult to cheat due to the collection being observed.

Hair Drug Testing

Hair drug testing is another type of drug testing that is becoming popular in the aerospace and defense industry. Hair drug testing detects drug use over a longer period than other testing methods, making it more difficult for drug users to evade detection. Additionally, hair tests can detect drug use going back 90 days and can even detect the presence of drugs in hair that has been chemically treated or dyed.  There is a tendency to be more positives with the 90 day look back and collection being observed.

Drug and Alcohol Supervisor Training

Finally, it is important to train supervisors on how to identify and address employees suspected of drug or alcohol use. Most employers have employee assistance programs that provide resources and support to employees struggling with addiction. Giving supervisors the training, tools, and support they need to help their employees can reduce the effects of drug use in the workplace and help employees in need.  Also, Supervisors are the front line for keeping workplace safe and drug free.

Drug testing is a critical aspect of maintaining a safe and productive workplace in the aerospace and defense industry. Implementing drug testing methods such as the 5 panel drug test, the 10 panel drug test, oral fluid testing, hair testing, and providing drug and alcohol supervisor training can help ensure employees are sober and alert while performing their duties. Employers that implement drug testing not only ensure the safety of their employees but also can create a culture of accountability and responsibility. Such an environment can improve productivity and ultimately lead to a more successful and profitable company.

If you need assistance with your drug free workplace, need supervisor training, or need to order a drug test or physical today, contact our Support Team at 844-573-8378 or