Australian workplace drug testing laws – where do I stand?

For a business contemplating the introduction of drug testing to their workplace, two of their key concerns are often how their employees will react and where do they stand in terms of Australian workplace drug testing laws. So let’s take a closer look at these two points and whether they should affect your decision to move ahead with drug testing.

Australian workplace drug testing laws

In Australia, you can legally conduct workplace drug testing in your business. However, it’s important that you have a drug and alcohol policy and procedures in place before you introduce testing. It’s also important that your employees have been educated about the terms of your policies and procedures, and they’re aware that testing will take place.

It could be argued that for some industries drug and alcohol testing should be compulsory. That’s because employers are obligated to provide a safe working place for their employees and not taking steps to reduce the incidence of employees coming to work impaired by drugs or alcohol can certainly pose a significant risk to health and safety.

There are already Australian workplace drug testing laws that make testing compulsory on some sites. This principally involves building contractors covered by the Building Code and working on building sites financed by federal dollars. All such building contractors are now required to undergo regular drug and alcohol testing under the amendments to the Building Code 2013, introduced in 2015.

How will my employees react to workplace drug testing?

It’s understandable that many businesses are concerned, but in reality if you introduce workplace drug testing correctly you won’t have a problem.

Similar to the point about Australian workplace drug testing laws, the key here is to have a drug and alcohol policy and procedures in place and to educate your employees about the policy, your procedures and the implementation of drug testing.

Having a safe workplace isn’t just a business imperative, it’s obviously vital for employees. The vast majority of employees already do the right thing and wouldn’t risk turning up to work under the influence, and they don’t want their colleagues to be turning up to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol either.

As long as employees are confident in the procedures, including the accuracy of testing and the steps taken for positive results, they’ll support workplace drug testing.

Take the next step

If your business is contemplating introducing workplace drug testing, contact Integrity Sampling. We can help you with all aspects, including developing a drug and alcohol policy, procedures and testing.
Australian workplace drug testing laws are on your side if you’re considering introducing drug testing in your workplace.

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View posts by Michael
Michael is the founder of Integrity Sampling and is responsible for overseeing all national operations. He is based at Integrity Sampling's head office in Thomastown and is also responsible for the co-ordination of drug and alcohol testing within Victoria, assisting in the implementation of drug and alcohol (fit for work) policies and the presentation of drug and alcohol education and awareness programs. You can connect with Michael Wheeldon on LinkedIn

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