The number of workplaces that are conducting workplace drug testing in Perth is on the rise, with St John Ambulance possibly soon to join the throng.
According to a recent Perth Now article, St John Ambulance is investigating introducing drug testing. The article quotes Chief Executive Officer at St John Ambulance WA, Tony Ahern, who says, “St John is progressing with a drug and alcohol policy and we are still in consultation with our workforce at this time. The formation of a policy is in keeping with many other emergency service organisations.”
Australia-wide, the number of employees who undergo workplace drug testing has grown from around 5% ten years ago to an estimated 15% today. And it’s not just traditional blue-collar workers involved. More white-collar industries are also introducing workplace drug testing as part of a wider drug and alcohol policy.
While the numbers of Perth, Western Australian and Australian business undertaken workplace drug testing is growing, we’re still a long way behind the United States, where it’s estimated that 70% of employees undergo drug testing. This has grown significantly in the past 30 years due to legislative changes and more understanding by employers and employees about the importance of drug testing in helping businesses improve safety, productivity and morale.
Workplace drug testing in Perth can help curb drug usage rates too
Workplace drug testing in Perth and indeed Western Australia is certainly not novel, in part due to the large number of mining business in our state. Mining was one of the forerunners into the introduction of drug and alcohol testing in Australian workplaces.
According to national surveys, people in the mining industry have a lower drug usage rate than other industries, with 12% of mining employees admitting to using drugs and 1% admitting to using at work. The rates are lower than all other industries, including hospitality, construction, manufacturing, retail, transport and administration. The hospitality industry tops the list, with a whopping 31% of employees admitting to using drugs and 7.7% using at work!
Can workplace drug testing in Perth and WA lower drug usage rates? The results in the mining industry indicate that it can. In the early 1980’s prior to the introduction of drug and alcohol testing, mining had one of the highest drug usage rates of all industries; now it has the lowest.
If you’re a business owner or manager in Perth or Western Australia and want to introduce drug testing to your workplace, take a look at our location website page or give Integrity Sampling a call on 1300 SALIVA.