drug testing in hotels

Drug Testing in Hotels

The hotel and hospitality industry is big business. In the UK alone we have over 45,000 hotels which contain over 700,000 rooms. All the major hotel brands are represented in this country. Premier Inn is the biggest, with nearly 70,000 hotel rooms. Other names that you will recognise include Best Western, Britannia, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Malmaison, Renaissance and Travelodge.

Some, but not all,  big hotel chains will implement drug testing as part of their recruitment procedure. Drug testing in hotels is also seen for staff employed in the hospitality industry.

Drug Identification in Hotels

There is a growing demand for drug identification tests in hotels. There are many reasons for this. For guests at a hotel, the room they are staying in is often seen by them as an extension of their home. What they do in the privacy of their own home will be the same in their hotel and this can clearly extend to the taking of illegal drugs.

Public areas are also at risk to drug taking activity. Toilets in bars are the most popular places to take cocaine. The Zoom Testing Cocaine Sweep has been designed to quickly detect cocaine on the surfaces of areas such a toilets and sinks. These disposable drug wipes are quickly run over the surface that is being tested. If the wipe turns blue, then cocaine has been identified.

In more serious case, where drugs are deemed to have been found, a laboratory drug identification test will quickly determine the presence of most drugs and only requires a simple swab of the surface to collect the evidence.

Drug Testing of Hotel Staff

It’s becoming more and more common for employers to implement measures that ensure a drug-free working environment. Drug testing at work is becoming the norm for many workers. The hotel industry is no exception to this trend.

Why The Need for Drug Testing?

In the UK , the Health and Safety at Work Act requires employers to ensure that their workplace is safe. This duty of care extends to making sure that all employees are not working whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The employer must make sure that all staff are safe at work. In the hotel industry, this duty of care extends to ensuring the safety of all customers at all times.

Hotel drug testing of staff is normally random and may well be a requirement of employment. Often it is written into the contract of a member of staff. Drug testing of this sort is normally random and will almost certainly be in the form of a saliva drug test. This type of oral fluid test can determine if a member of staff is currently under the influence of drugs. A breathalyser test may also be used to check if the worker has been drinking alcohol.

A urine drug test is likely to be used by an employer to determine if the employee is a drug user outside of work. This type of test can be used to determine if drugs have been used in the days and weeks before the drug test took place. Failing such a drug test can also result in disciplinary action against a member of staff that has tested positive. Sometimes this can even result in dismissal. If this type of drug test took place as part of a job interview process, failing the test would mean that the person would almost certainly not be employed by the hotel.

The Future of Hotel Drug Testing

As workplace drug testing becomes more widespread, we can expect hotels and hospitality venues to ramp up their drug screening efforts. Testing may expand beyond frontline staff like cleaners and servers to include more back-office employees. Random drug screening could become an employment condition across the board.

Hotels may also increase random checks during events with alcohol served like conferences, weddings and New Year’s Eve parties. Breathalysers and oral fluid tests before shifts start could help limit liability if intoxicated staff cause incidents. Venues could even screen guests on entry when large numbers are expected.

The range of substances covered in testing is likely to grow as well. Most hotel drug panels focus on common illegal drugs like cannabis, cocaine and MDMA. As the popularity of formerly “legal highs” continues, hotels may add tests for substances like spice and mephedrone. Prescription medication checks may increase too if abuse becomes more prevalent.

We could also see more use of drug detection technologies like the Zoom Testing Cocaine Sweep. Surface drug swabs and drug trace detection devices can quickly pinpoint contamination. Rather than only testing people, hotels may periodically screen spaces like bathrooms and halls. Detection wipes and machines can also confirm if a room needs comprehensive decontamination.

While privacy laws place some limits on guest testing, hotels have a strong motivation to minimise drug use on their premises. Legal synthetic cannabinoids and other dangerous substances pose threats to visitor health and safety. Venues are expected to provide clean, hazard-free environments. More proactive, wide-ranging approaches to drug screening will likely be adopted over time.

In summary, hotels already have workplace drug testing protocols, but these could expand as casual substance use climbs. Through a combination of better staff screening, surface drug detection and guest checks, the industry can tackle this challenge. Drug testing will play an important role in helping hotels continue delivering secure, enjoyable spaces for us all.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Zoom Testing is a leading UK drug testing company and a supplier of Drug Test Kits.

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