Up To Speed | The ‘False Positive’
There’s often an exception to rules, a flaw in a system or unforeseen circumstances affecting routine practice.
Common protocol across the highways industry involves mandatory drugs and alcohol tests across the country for new admissions to access work sites. But, as Up To Speed training recently found out- common protocol can often throw us a giant curveball.
Now like most of us, before a hard day’s work we fuel up on the most important meal of the day- breakfast. Whether toast or cereal, porridge or a full English- we make sure we’re stocked full of energy to perform.
But, when tucking into what we deem as a necessity for the day, do any of us stop to think that something as routine and necessary as our morning feed could actually be setting us up for a fall?
When Up To Speed General Manager Adam Mills visited site recently, he was shocked to discover that he was denied access due to a positive test for opiates. As Up To Speed Training have had an exemplary record over their 6 year existence, it goes without saying that this mistaken reading had to have an explanation.
Stunned and inquisitive, Adam set about getting to the truth behind the ‘false positive.’
Adam told us:
“I couldn’t believe it. Never in 12 years of working in the industry have I been denied access to a site and I needed to know why. When your personal and professional reputation is on the line it’s a harrowing feeling. What made it even worse was I didn’t even know what opiates were!
“After doing my research I discovered opiates are found naturally in the poppy plant- and then it hit me- breakfast!”
Upon contacting the manufacturer of Adam’s breakfast bread of choice, it was made clear from the manufacturer that poppy seeds are used in day to day bread making, as well as confirming their role is such positive tests. With a documented explanation, as well as further testing- Adam was granted access to the site.
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“The hardest part of it all was that I’d heard of a few accusatory whispers around the industry- which in a supposedly innocent until proven guilty culture was really tough.
“Given my own spotless record, in addition to that of Up To Speed and all of our employees, it was important that we brought to light that there are other factors involved in such tests, and a positive test doesn’t necessarily mean foul play and wrong doing.
“In some ways I’m fortunate that our reputation within the industry enabled me to present the truth once discovered. My worry would be if that was a new starter on day 1 of a new job, that they’d be cast aside and judged before the truth was explored.”
We asked Adam about what he hopes bringing a ‘false positive’ to light means for the industry going forward:
“Don’t judge on the spot.” He said. “Take the time to get to the bottom of any situation before making a decision that could affect someone’s reputation and livelihood.”