Q: It’s critical that every mineworker is tested before coming on site, but how can we avoid bottlenecks and time delays?
A: Bottlenecks are caused when it takes too long to test each person so you want to use a breathalyzer that cuts testing time down to a minimum. A full size 1” fuel cell like the one used in both the Lifeloc FC5 Hornet and FC5 Sentinel has a quicker turnaround time because it resets almost immediately on negative results and takes a maximum time of 20 seconds where there are high levels of intoxication.
Automated breath sampling also helps to speed up testing as users don’t have to push any buttons, they simply walk up to the breathalyzer and blow. The FC 5 Sentinel is wall-mounted, facilitates automated breath sampling and doesn’t require any mouthpieces to be used. All these features cut down the testing time and get employees onto site quicker.
One of the biggest problems experienced are staff that are not educated on how to blow correctly or how to use the equipment. Employee training goes a long way to eradicate this issue.
Q: Is there a way to combat the bribery or intimidation that sometimes occurs between security guards and employees to let them on site when under the influence?
A: Removing the human factor from the testing process by installing an automated breathalyser is the only way to completely avoid this issue. The Lifeloc Sentinel is a fixed wall-mounted breathalyser that facilities operator-free testing in high volume, safety sensitive environments.
Q: Is there a simple way to keep a record of employees’ breath alcohol results that are credible for CMMA cases?
A: Yes, professional breathalysers like the Lifeloc FC 20 keep electronic records of all test results. When using a Lifeloc Sentinel (fixed automated breathalyzer) that is integrated with an access control system the employees are required to scan their ID cards before a breath sample is taken so that a history of results can be recorded and trends detected. The
Lifeloc FC 20 incorporates the AlcoMark software, which allows the user to download the last 1000 test results - each with a unique test number. An option to enter an ID number before each test is available so that results can be verified back to an individual.
2 key factors of results being admissible in CMMA cases is that operators need to be certified to use the evidential testing breathalyser and the unit must be within the calibration period.
Q: How often does a breathalyser need to be calibrated and does it need to be sent away to do it?
A: Generally breathalysers need to be calibrated once every 12 months. This can either be done on site or sent away to an agent. Lifeloc recently launched EASYCAL®, an on-site automated calibration system, and is the only manufacturer in South Africa with this technology. EASYCAL® is extremely simple to use as it eliminates the step by step process usually involved in calibrating a breathalyser.
Answers kindly provided by PSA
National Call Centre: +27 860 543 356
Head Office: +27 31 263 2333
Fax: +27 31 263 2330