Workplace drug and alcohol testing laws in Western Australia


One of the questions we regularly get asked in Western Australia, is can I lawfully introduce drug and alcohol testing in my workplace? It’s a fair question, because you don’t want to fall foul of the law or your employees, so let’s see what the facts are.

As highlighted in a post from 2016, entitled Australian workplace drug testing laws – where do I stand? – in Australia and indeed Western Australia, many workplaces can legally conduct workplace drug and alcohol testing. In fact, it could be argued that for some industries – where safety is a priority – it’s practically a legal requirement.

The Government of Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety states in their guidance notes that:

“Employers have a general ‘duty of care’ to provide a safe workplace free from hazards under the OSH Act and MSI Act. It allows flexibility for employers and workers to agree upon an alcohol and other drugs policy for their workplace. Some employers have interpreted their ‘duty of care’ obligations to provide a safe working environment to require alcohol and/or drug testing of workers

“When considering whether to introduce testing for illicit drugs, employers should ensure that the nature of the policies and programs is appropriate to the level of risk at the workplace by carrying out a risk assessment.”

In other words, if you run an office-based business in Western Australia, you’d be hard-pressed to sell the need for drug and alcohol testing in your workplace. However, if you run a business associated with mining, farming, manufacturing, transportation, aviation or another workplace where safety is a priority, drug and alcohol testing can be an important part of your management of drugs and alcohol in your workplace.

One of the key parts of the Government of Western Australia Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety statement is the requirement to have a drugs and alcohol policy in place. Detailing how your Western Australian workplace will manage drugs and alcohol, including providing details of testing to be carried out, is vital before any drug and alcohol testing is implemented.

Workplace drug and alcohol testing in Western Australia

Integrity Sampling can help you with all your drug and alcohol management needs, as well as conducting drug and alcohol testing in your Western Australian workplace. We have branches in Busselton, Dampier, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Perth and Port Hedland.

Give Integrity a call on 1300 SALIVA today to discuss your needs.

Footnote: For one industry sector in Western Australia, workplace drug and alcohol testing can be a legal requirement. The Building and Construction Industry Code requires contractors meeting specific requirements to have a plan for drugs and alcohol in place. This plan must include drug and alcohol testing of employees, subcontractors and other people on the site who perform work. What’s more, testing should be carried out at least once per month and a minimum number of people to be tested is mandated, depending on the size of the workforce.

Integrity Sampling conducts workplace drug and alcohol testing in Western Australia on a remote farm.

By Paul Marshall

Paul is the Owner and Director of Integrity Sampling WA, which has technicians that provides drug and alcohol management services, including drug and alcohol testing, in the Perth area and all regional locations within Western Australia. You can connect with Paul Marshall on LinkedIn

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