Intelligent Fingerprinting has developed a portable drug testing solution for the shipping industry.

The solution includes an initial screening test that is designed to analyse sweat from a fingerprint to find out if the crew members or extended contractors have recently used cocaine, opiates, amphetamines or cannabis.

Equipped with a single-use, tamper-evident drug screening cartridge for taking fingerprint sweat sample, the solution can be used in various shipping operations carried out by the tankers and bulk carriers, supply vessels, cruise ships, ferries and others that require drug tests.

It requires five seconds to collect samples and ten minutes to provide screening results for the four drug groups.

The collected samples are sent in a tamper-evident security bag to Intelligent Fingerprinting’s partner laboratory for final analysis.

Intelligent Fingerprinting representative Dr Paul Yates said: “With almost one in ten UK workers admitting to recent drug use, and 16% of UK employers reporting that they have had suspicions about colleagues being under the influence of drugs, it is clear that drug misuse remains a serious concern when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

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“The new fingerprint-based solution facilitates all types of on-board drug testing in line with the existing maritime drug policies.”

“The impact of drug abuse across the shipping industry can be far-reaching, whether it’s within passenger or container ports, or at sea where an individual’s drug impairment can impact not only themselves, but also their fellow crew-members, passengers and people on other vessels.”

The new fingerprint-based solution facilitates all types of on-board drug testing in line with the existing maritime drug policies, ranging from pre-employment screening to for-cause and random testing.

Compared to the typical blood, urine or saliva-based drug tests, the Intelligent Fingerprinting solution is less invasive, while it requires less time, more hygienic and easily deployable.

The solution eliminates the need for specialist medical or sample collection facilities, and allows drug tests to be held at ports.

It can be used for routine or random drug testing of the crews on-board ships who are prone to make distinctions between on or off duty because of difficult working conditions and remoteness from home.