John Hawes

John Hawes is the CCO and co-founder at SureHire Occupational Health Testing. John graduated in 2001 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy. From 2001 until 2013 John was a treating therapist and co-owned three physical therapy clinics. In 2005, John and his business partner started SureHire, an occupational health testing company based in Edmonton Alberta.

John has used his knowledge of physical therapy and interest in ergonomic and biomechanics to devise fit for work testing unlike anything seen in Canada before. SureHire grew quickly and expanded its services to become one of the largest occupational health testing companies in Canada.

John’s primary role in the company now is on research and best practices for every type of testing that SureHire offers. John’s belief is that occupational health testing is an ever growing and evolving field and requires continual refinement regarding policies, procedures and embracing new technologies to get the best possible employees. This helps improve the overall health of the workforce and also provides companies with the best possible picture of their workforce, both as a whole and of each individual worker.

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Articles by John Hawes


Accurate Drug Testing for Marijuana is Not Possible With Oral Fluid Point of Collection Testing Devices Accurate Drug Testing for Marijuana is Not Possible With Oral Fluid Point of Collection Testing Devices Accurate Drug Testing for Marijuana is Not Possible With Oral Fluid Point of Collection Testing Devices Accurate Drug Testing for Marijuana is Not Possible With Oral Fluid Point of Collection Testing Devices


Oral fluid point of collection testing device manufacturers often market their products for marijuana testing but these devices fall short...

A Look at Synthetic Cannabinoids A Look at Synthetic Cannabinoids A Look at Synthetic Cannabinoids A Look at Synthetic Cannabinoids


Synthetic cannabinoids have major health repercussions - and present major issues in terms of drug testing. Find out more here.

A Look At Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics A Look At Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics A Look At Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics A Look At Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics


Prescription drug abuse statistics in the U.S. and Canada show a problem that employers must take seriously.

Prescription Opioids and Safety Sensitive Work Prescription Opioids and Safety Sensitive Work Prescription Opioids and Safety Sensitive Work Prescription Opioids and Safety Sensitive Work


It is not just illegally obtained drugs that pose health and safety risks in the workplace. Prescription opioid use is on the rise and...

An Introduction to Opiates and Drug Testing An Introduction to Opiates and Drug Testing An Introduction to Opiates and Drug Testing An Introduction to Opiates and Drug Testing


POCT urine drug testing is a type of drug testing that, like other methods, is very dependent on what you are looking for. Before choosing...

Drug Test Types: When to Use 5, 7, or 12 Panel Urine Screening Drug Test Types: When to Use 5, 7, or 12 Panel Urine Screening Drug Test Types: When to Use 5, 7, or 12 Panel Urine Screening Drug Test Types: When to Use 5, 7, or 12 Panel Urine Screening


The most common urine drug tests are 5 panel, 7 panel, and 12 panel. Which you chose for your company will depend on safety concerns,...

Q&A by John Hawes


What is a finger dexterity test and what does it entail? What is a finger dexterity test and what does it entail? What is a finger dexterity test and what does it entail? What is a finger dexterity test and what does it entail?


Dexterity explainedDexterity refers to the motor skill abilities in a person's hands. These are also referred to as fine motor skills....


The first thing that any employer needs to take into consideration is that they need to make sure all of the functions that an individual...

In what cases do employers test for sleep apnea and what tests to they typically use? In what cases do employers test for sleep apnea and what tests to they typically use? In what cases do employers test for sleep apnea and what tests to they typically use? In what cases do employers test for sleep apnea and what tests to they typically use?


Employers who have workers that perform or supervise safety sensitive work may choose to test their workers for sleep apnea. This may...

What are the dangers of sleep apnea in the workplace? What are the dangers of sleep apnea in the workplace? What are the dangers of sleep apnea in the workplace? What are the dangers of sleep apnea in the workplace?


Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, depression, diabetes and other serious medical...

What are some of the key symptoms of sleep apnea that tend to present in the workplace? What are some of the key symptoms of sleep apnea that tend to present in the workplace? What are some of the key symptoms of sleep apnea that tend to present in the workplace? What are some of the key symptoms of sleep apnea that tend to present in the workplace?


Some key symptoms of sleep apnea that may present in the workplace are morning headache, memory loss, irritability, difficulty...

How is sleep apnea diagnosed? How is sleep apnea diagnosed? How is sleep apnea diagnosed? How is sleep apnea diagnosed?


Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing is interrupted. There are three types of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea,...

What makes a drug test invalid? What makes a drug test invalid? What makes a drug test invalid? What makes a drug test invalid?


An invalid drug test can occur if a urine sample contains an unknown substance or contaminant. It can also occur if the sample contains a...

What happens if an employee refuses a drug test? What happens if an employee refuses a drug test? What happens if an employee refuses a drug test? What happens if an employee refuses a drug test?


When an employee refuses a non-DOT drug test, the refusal is dealt with in different ways depending on the employer and depending on the...

What is a fatal flaw in a drug test and what does it entail? What is a fatal flaw in a drug test and what does it entail? What is a fatal flaw in a drug test and what does it entail? What is a fatal flaw in a drug test and what does it entail?


A fatal flaw is a critical error that was made during the collection process that cannot be corrected. Primarily, fatal flaws are related...

How do you choose between hair, urine or oral fluid testing when it comes to testing employees for drugs? How do you choose between hair, urine or oral fluid testing when it comes to testing employees for drugs? How do you choose between hair, urine or oral fluid testing when it comes to testing employees for drugs? How do you choose between hair, urine or oral fluid testing when it comes to testing employees for drugs?


An employer — or anyone who’s testing — would make this decision based on the different parameters that those three...

What is an eCCF? What is an eCCF? What is an eCCF? What is an eCCF?


The term eCCF stands for "Electronic Custody and Control Form." It is the electronic version of the traditional five-part custody...

What are the duties of a Designated Employer Representative (DER)? What are the duties of a Designated Employer Representative (DER)? What are the duties of a Designated Employer Representative (DER)? What are the duties of a Designated Employer Representative (DER)?


A Designated Employer Representative (DER) is an individual within a company who has been appointed and trained to carry out specific...

What training is required for a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional)? What training is required for a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional)? What training is required for a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional)? What training is required for a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional)?


A Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who has been trained to evaluate and provide assistance to employees who have violated the...

Who falls under FAA jurisdiction for drug and alcohol programs? Who falls under FAA jurisdiction for drug and alcohol programs? Who falls under FAA jurisdiction for drug and alcohol programs? Who falls under FAA jurisdiction for drug and alcohol programs?


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is an organization within the US Department of Transportation (DOT). The FAA regulates all...

What companies can be audited by the FTA in a Drug and Alcohol Compliance Audit? What companies can be audited by the FTA in a Drug and Alcohol Compliance Audit? What companies can be audited by the FTA in a Drug and Alcohol Compliance Audit? What companies can be audited by the FTA in a Drug and Alcohol Compliance Audit?


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is an organization within the US Department of Transportation (DOT). They provide financial and...


The Department of Transportation (DOT) covers regulations around safety-sensitive transportation positions. These include the Federal Motor...

What is a DOT physical? What is a DOT physical? What is a DOT physical? What is a DOT physical?


A DOT physical is a medical evaluation required through the Department of Transportation (DOT) for all commercial motor vehicle (CMV)...

What is a non-DOT urine drug test? What is a non-DOT urine drug test? What is a non-DOT urine drug test? What is a non-DOT urine drug test?


A non-DOT urine drug test is a drug test given to an employee in a non Department of Transportation (DOT) industry. Whilst employees of DOT...

What are the cutoff levels for non-DOT drug tests? What are the cutoff levels for non-DOT drug tests? What are the cutoff levels for non-DOT drug tests? What are the cutoff levels for non-DOT drug tests?


Industries that fall outside of the Department of Transportation (DOT) have a range of options to explore and consider when it comes to...

How long does it take for a company to see a return on investment (ROI) after implementing a wellness program? How long does it take for a company to see a return on investment (ROI) after implementing a wellness program? How long does it take for a company to see a return on investment (ROI) after implementing a wellness program? How long does it take for a company to see a return on investment (ROI) after implementing a wellness program?


As a business owner/employer, you may choose to start a workplace wellness program once you understand the many potential benefits that...

Is an employee considered disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol? Is an employee considered disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol? Is an employee considered disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol? Is an employee considered disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) if they are addicted to drugs or alcohol?


The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) was formed to make it unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability in...

What form is used to document urine collection under DOT drug testing rules? What form is used to document urine collection under DOT drug testing rules? What form is used to document urine collection under DOT drug testing rules? What form is used to document urine collection under DOT drug testing rules?


The Department of Transportation (DOT) has documented policies and procedures for drug testing and alcohol testing. 49 CFR part 40 covers...

What do collection site operators have to do under DOT drug testing rules to maintain the security and integrity of urine testing? What do collection site operators have to do under DOT drug testing rules to maintain the security and integrity of urine testing? What do collection site operators have to do under DOT drug testing rules to maintain the security and integrity of urine testing? What do collection site operators have to do under DOT drug testing rules to maintain the security and integrity of urine testing?


The Department of Transportation (DOT) holds its own policies and procedures for workplace drug and alcohol testing. These policies and...

Where does urine sample collection take place under DOT testing rules? Where does urine sample collection take place under DOT testing rules? Where does urine sample collection take place under DOT testing rules? Where does urine sample collection take place under DOT testing rules?


The Department of Transportation (DOT) has created a set of procedures that outline each step of its workplace drug testing process....

Who issues rulings and interpretations on DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40? Who issues rulings and interpretations on DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40? Who issues rulings and interpretations on DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40? Who issues rulings and interpretations on DOT Rule 49 CFR Part 40?


The Department of Transportation (DOT) rule 49 CFR part 40 describes the required procedures for conducting workplace drug testing and...

Can a C/TPA hired as an independent safety consultant also act as a DER (Designated Employer Representative)? Can a C/TPA hired as an independent safety consultant also act as a DER (Designated Employer Representative)? Can a C/TPA hired as an independent safety consultant also act as a DER (Designated Employer Representative)? Can a C/TPA hired as an independent safety consultant also act as a DER (Designated Employer Representative)?


A consortium/third party administrator (C/TPA) is an external company or organization that provides services to employers to help with...

Can an employer act as a Designated Employer Representative (DER) under DOT regulations? Can an employer act as a Designated Employer Representative (DER) under DOT regulations? Can an employer act as a Designated Employer Representative (DER) under DOT regulations? Can an employer act as a Designated Employer Representative (DER) under DOT regulations?


A Designated Employer Representative (DER) has assigned duties within the Department of Transportation (DOT)'s drug testing and alcohol...

Who Does DOT Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 Cover? Who Does DOT Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 Cover? Who Does DOT Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 Cover? Who Does DOT Regulation 49 CFR Part 40 Cover?


The Department of Transportation (DOT) rule 49 CFR part 40 describes the required procedures for conducting workplace drug testing and...

What is fingernail drug testing? What is fingernail drug testing? What is fingernail drug testing? What is fingernail drug testing?


Fingernail drug testing can be used as an alternative to hair follicle drug testing orurine testing. Nails are made up of a material called...

What kinds of screening processes can be used for potential employees beyond an interview? What kinds of screening processes can be used for potential employees beyond an interview? What kinds of screening processes can be used for potential employees beyond an interview? What kinds of screening processes can be used for potential employees beyond an interview?


There are a number of screening processes that can be used for potential employees beyond an interview. As an employer, there are various...

What are physical demands analysis reports used for? What are physical demands analysis reports used for? What are physical demands analysis reports used for? What are physical demands analysis reports used for?


A physical demands analysis (PDA) is a study of all the physical requirements associated with a particular job. This analysis is then used...

Is sleep apnea testing required by law in any industries? Is sleep apnea testing required by law in any industries? Is sleep apnea testing required by law in any industries? Is sleep apnea testing required by law in any industries?


Currently, there are no federal laws requiring sleep apnea testing for any industry or group of employees (Learn more in "What Happens...

Are wellness programs expensive to run? Are wellness programs expensive to run? Are wellness programs expensive to run? Are wellness programs expensive to run?


Workplace wellness programs are offered by employers large and small as a means of improving employee health and safety. In 2015, nearly...

Does gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affect a breath alcohol result? Does gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affect a breath alcohol result? Does gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affect a breath alcohol result? Does gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affect a breath alcohol result?


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition whereby the muscle that connects the esophagus and stomach doesn't function...

Are standing desks better for you than sitting desks? Are standing desks better for you than sitting desks? Are standing desks better for you than sitting desks? Are standing desks better for you than sitting desks?


Even though there are pros and cons to both standing desks and sitting at a desk, studies have indicated that there is no huge benefit of a...

What does an ergonomic assessment include? What does an ergonomic assessment include? What does an ergonomic assessment include? What does an ergonomic assessment include?


There is no clear cut golden rule as to what an ergonomic assessment should include. Simply put, a copy and paste assessment format from...

What are the benefits of an ergonomics program? What are the benefits of an ergonomics program? What are the benefits of an ergonomics program? What are the benefits of an ergonomics program?


The benefits of implementing an ergonomic program range from an economic benefit by identifying and eliminating ergonomics related injuries...

What happens to drug testing if marijuana becomes legal? What happens to drug testing if marijuana becomes legal? What happens to drug testing if marijuana becomes legal? What happens to drug testing if marijuana becomes legal?


The goal of workplace drug testing is to enhance workplace health, safety, and productivity rather than the detection of illegal activity....

Does it violate my rights for a company to demand I take a drug test? Does it violate my rights for a company to demand I take a drug test? Does it violate my rights for a company to demand I take a drug test? Does it violate my rights for a company to demand I take a drug test?


In general, an employer's demand for drug testing does not violate an employee's rights. However, employer drug testing policies...

Who can see my drug test results? Who can see my drug test results? Who can see my drug test results? Who can see my drug test results?


The individual who have access to your drug test results will vary depending on the circumstances of the testing. Examples of people who...

What if I get dizzy or feel like I will pass out during spirometry testing? What if I get dizzy or feel like I will pass out during spirometry testing? What if I get dizzy or feel like I will pass out during spirometry testing? What if I get dizzy or feel like I will pass out during spirometry testing?


Spirometry is a common pulmonary function test (PFT) and is considered safe for most individuals. You may experience dizziness or...

Will being a smoker affect spirometry test results? Will being a smoker affect spirometry test results? Will being a smoker affect spirometry test results? Will being a smoker affect spirometry test results?


Being a smoker is not something that will automatically cause your spirometry test to differ from that of a non-smoker. But any damage to...


No, drug testing will not leave bald spots. When hair is taken for drug testing, the follicle or root is not taken for sampling nor is your...


The hair collected for drug testing is cut close to the scalp or skin, not pulled from the root.Hair drug samples may be cut from any...


Yes, a hair drug test may be conducted using head or body hair.Most testing facilities require a hair sample of approximately 100...


Bleaching or dying of your hair will not prevent a positive drug test result, nor will it cause a false positive result.Because hair drug...

Who will administer my urine drug testing? Who will administer my urine drug testing? Who will administer my urine drug testing? Who will administer my urine drug testing?


When you take a urine drug test, it may be administered by either a trained collector or a medical professional.Will someone watch me pee...

How accurate are oral fluid drug tests? How accurate are oral fluid drug tests? How accurate are oral fluid drug tests? How accurate are oral fluid drug tests?


Oral fluid drug tests that employ laboratory-based analysis are considered to be highly accurate. The concentrations of substances detected...

Does oral fluid drug testing detect alcohol as well as illegal drugs? Does oral fluid drug testing detect alcohol as well as illegal drugs? Does oral fluid drug testing detect alcohol as well as illegal drugs? Does oral fluid drug testing detect alcohol as well as illegal drugs?


Oral fluid drug testing is used to detect the presence of substances such as drugs, alcohol, steroids, or viruses in a person's saliva....

What can cause high blood pressure in a pre-medical evaluation? What can cause high blood pressure in a pre-medical evaluation? What can cause high blood pressure in a pre-medical evaluation? What can cause high blood pressure in a pre-medical evaluation?


Assuming that you do not normally suffer from high blood pressure, there are still several factors that might cause your blood pressure...

Why do you need my medical history before fitness to work testing? Why do you need my medical history before fitness to work testing? Why do you need my medical history before fitness to work testing? Why do you need my medical history before fitness to work testing?


The primary purpose of fitness to work testing is to assess whether or not you will be able to safely perform the tasks of the job for...

Will a saliva alcohol test work if I have a very dry mouth? Will a saliva alcohol test work if I have a very dry mouth? Will a saliva alcohol test work if I have a very dry mouth? Will a saliva alcohol test work if I have a very dry mouth?


When used in a screening test, only a small sample amount is needed to conduct the saliva alcohol test. However, if you have a very dry...

How do I take a breath alcohol test? How do I take a breath alcohol test? How do I take a breath alcohol test? How do I take a breath alcohol test?


The individual testing procedures for a blood alcohol test will vary depending on the type of breath alcohol testing device used and the...

Does a positive alcohol test result mean I am drunk? Does a positive alcohol test result mean I am drunk? Does a positive alcohol test result mean I am drunk? Does a positive alcohol test result mean I am drunk?


An alcohol test does not necessarily mean that you are physically drunk. Instead, an alcohol test is used to detect the presence of alcohol...

Will mouthwash affect alcohol test results? Will mouthwash affect alcohol test results? Will mouthwash affect alcohol test results? Will mouthwash affect alcohol test results?


Yes, in some circumstances a mouthwash containing alcohol can affect your alcohol testing results.Because some mouthwashes contain the same...

How does a breath alcohol machine work? How does a breath alcohol machine work? How does a breath alcohol machine work? How does a breath alcohol machine work?


When a person consumes alcohol, it enters his or her bloodstream through the digestive system. When this alcohol-carrying blood reaches the...

What's the difference between saliva alcohol testing and a breath alcohol machine? What's the difference between saliva alcohol testing and a breath alcohol machine? What's the difference between saliva alcohol testing and a breath alcohol machine? What's the difference between saliva alcohol testing and a breath alcohol machine?


The primary difference between saliva alcohol testing and a breath alcohol machine is the method used to collect the test specimen. A...

Why are POCT and lab cutoff levels different? Why are POCT and lab cutoff levels different? Why are POCT and lab cutoff levels different? Why are POCT and lab cutoff levels different?


The short answer is that they are not different. The difference comes in when we look at the different testing methods used, specifically...

What is a urine ethanol test? What is a urine ethanol test? What is a urine ethanol test? What is a urine ethanol test?


Testing alcohol in the body can be done by a few different ways using blood, saliva, breath, sweat, and urine. Of the above ways, blood is...

What is the difference between oral fluid and urine drug testing? What is the difference between oral fluid and urine drug testing? What is the difference between oral fluid and urine drug testing? What is the difference between oral fluid and urine drug testing?


The important thing to understand about urine and oral fluid drug testing is that they are both very accurate and the sensitivity at the...

Can secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke cause a positive drug test? Can secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke cause a positive drug test? Can secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke cause a positive drug test? Can secondhand exposure to cannabis smoke cause a positive drug test?


In the mid to late 1980s, there were many studies done investigating this very question. Some people were concerned that secondhand pot...