If you’re a workplace owner or manager in WA, here’s a good New Year’s Resolution for you if you’re wanting to improve safety – start conducting drug testing in your WA workplace in 2020. Before you do, however, there are a few questions and things you need to take care of before the first drug test takes place.
Can you legally implement random drug testing in your WA workplace?
In simple terms, the answer is yes, although not necessarily for all workplaces.
Workplace drug testing in WA and Australia is conducted to improve safety, not just to find out whether employees are taking drugs. You can’t dictate whether employees take illegal drugs in their own time, however, you do have the right to ensure employees are in a safe condition to perform their job. Therefore, you can undertake drug testing in your WA workplace if safety is important.
This was borne out in a landmark case in 1994, when the AMEU argued that Newlands Coal shouldn’t be able to introduce drug and alcohol testing because it was a breach of their member’s civil liberties. The case was found in favour of Newlands Coal, because they demonstrated that the drug and alcohol testing program was being introduced to help employees perform their work safely, not simply to catch and then dismiss employees.
Drug and alcohol policy
So, legally, you can carry out drug testing, but you’re still not ready to do so. Before you do, you must develop a detailed and robust drug and alcohol policy for your WA workplace. Conducting drug testing in your WA workplace without having a drug and alcohol policy will leave your business open to issues down the track, particularly when dealing with positive drug testing results or employees who refuse drug testing.
A workplace drug and alcohol testing policy will provide details such as:
- The type of drug testing you’ll undertake in your WA business. Random drug testing is perhaps the most well-known, but you can also conduct pre-employment testing, testing of employees who are suspected of being under the influence (cause testing) and testing following an accident, incident or near miss (incident testing).
- You’ll also need to detail whether you’ll use saliva drug testing (our recommended method) or urine drug testing as your drug testing methodology.
- What’s the policy for when employees record a confirmed positive drug testing result? What will the consequences be for first time offenders and subsequence offences?
- How will you educate your employees about your workplace’s drug and alcohol policy and the dangers of coming to work under the influence?
- What support will you provide employees who are having issues with drugs?
Implementing drug testing in your WA workplace
Developing a drug and alcohol policy, educating employees and implementing drug testing in any WA workplace is a big task, so thankfully help is at hand. Integrity Sampling conducts drug testing across most of the main work areas of WA. In addition, we can help with all aspects of drug and alcohol management, including the development of drug and alcohol policies.
So, when you’re ready to make your New Year’s Resolution a reality and implement drug testing in your WA workplace, we’re ready to help. Give us a call on 1300 SALIVA to get the ball rolling.
Implementing workplace drug testing in your WA workplace in 2020? Integrity Sampling can help. Credit Simon_sees https://www.flickr.com/photos/39551170@N02/47507138622/