The Finnish guidelines for workplace drug testing outlined here represent what is considered the best practice for workplace drug testing to be followed in Finland. The guidelines are based on the act on the protection of privacy in working life (759/2004), the occupational health care act (1383/2001) and the decree on workplace drug testing (218/2005). They start by defining situations in which workplace testing is allowed and continue up to the point where the certificate is submitted to the employer. The role of the occupational health care system is crucial in the procedure. The guidelines include the best practice procedures to be followed by laboratories providing workplace drug testing services. The laboratory recommendations are based on general principles established internationally. In the Finnish guidelines, accreditation is an absolute prerequisite for a laboratory functioning as a workplace drug testing laboratory. The laboratory section of the guidelines includes specimen collection, laboratory organisation, analysis procedure, quality assurance and quality control measures. These largely conform to the European laboratory guidelines for legally defensible workplace drug testing published by the European workplace drug testing society (EWDTS), but there are differences. In addition to using urine as a specimen, the Finnish guidelines also encompass blood.
In Finland, the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life (759/2004) that entered into force in 2004 incorporates provisions related to drug use testing, e.g. on the employers' right to process in certain situations information on job applicants' and employees' drug use. In the same context, provisions were added to the Occupational Health Care Act (1383/2001) on the employer's obligation to draw up, together with the staff, a written programme dealing with alcohol and drugs for the workplace. The programme defines the overall objectives for and the practices to be observed at the workplace in order to prevent substance abuse and to refer the problem users to treatment. The Occupational Health Care Act also includes provisions on drug tests and the drug test certificate as well as on reimbursement of the expenses of drug tests. Furthermore, the Act lays down a definition of drug tests. Every workplace shall have a plan/programme on drug-free workplace, where the jobs in which the workers have to present a drug test certificate to the employer must be defined. This plan/programme shall be discussed in cooperation on tripartite basis at the workplace. A Government decree on drug use testing (218/2005) has been issued in virtue of the Occupational Health Care Act. It lays down provisions on the practical performance of drug tests, i.e. taking and analysis of samples, and interpretation of the test results. The purpose of the Government decree is to ensure that workplace drug testing is carried out in a way presupposed by a good occupational health care practice and the laboratory quality standards, taking into account the integrity and protection of privacy of the persons tested as well as their other fundamental rights.
In Finland, workplace drug testing is mainly performed in accordance with the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life (759/2004), (http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/2004/20040759) , the Occupational Health Care Act (1383/2001), (http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/2001/20011383)  and the Decree on Workplace Drug Testing (218/2005) . The role of occupational health services is stated in the Occupational Health Care Act. All workplace drug tests are carried out by health services according to good occupational health care practice. A referral for a drug test is given by a physician or a nurse working in health care services. When giving the referral, the physician or nurse should inform the person to be tested of the purpose and content of the test, record any medication they may be using, and make sure they are aware that they can later dispute the result of the test. The identity of the person should be checked before taking a sample. The analysis laboratory sends the result of the drug test to the health care service unit that has given the referral. If the test result is positive, the laboratory gives a detailed analysis of the test result. The health care service personnel provide the testee with the result. If it is negative, it may be given by a nurse. When the test result is positive, a Medical Review Officer (MRO) should interpret the answer and evaluate whether the positive result is due to medication, or another reasonable explanation offered by the person tested. The MRO informs the person of the options of rehabilitation treatment available to drug abusers stated in the written drug testing policy/programme of the employer/company. The testee takes the test result report to his/her employer personally.