Implementing random drug testing in Perth workplaces

Whether it’s a New Year’s Resolution or you simply want to improve your business’ safety regime, if you’re thinking of implementing random drug testing in your Perth workplace there are some details to take care and questions to be asked before the first drug test takes place.

Can you legally implement random drug testing in your Perth workplace?

The general answer is yes, although it must be for the right reasons.

In a landmark Coal Industry Tribunal case from 1994, the AMEU argued that Newlands Coal shouldn’t be able to introduce random drug and alcohol testing for its members because it was a breach of civil liberties. The Tribunal 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 to catch and then sack employees.

It’s generally accepted that employers can’t dictate whether employees should be able to take illegal drugs or drink alcohol excessively in their own time. However, employers do have a right to ensure employees are in a safe condition to perform their job. Therefore, undertaking random drug testing and alcohol testing to improve health and safety in your Perth workplace is a legitimate thing to do.

What do you need to do to prepare for random drug testing in your Perth workplace?

Firstly and most importantly, you must develop a detailed and robust drug and alcohol policy.

Conducting random drug testing in your Perth workplace without having a drug and alcohol policy will leave your business open for potential issues down the track, particularly when dealing with positive drug testing results.

Your workplace drug and alcohol testing policy will provide details on a whole range of factors, including:

  • The type of testing you’ll undertake. Random drug testing is perhaps the most well known, but you may also conduct pre-employment testing, testing of employee’s who are suspected of being under the influence (cause testing) and testing following an accident, incident or near miss (incident testing).
  • What are the procedures and steps that will occur when an employee records a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test? This is likely to include separate procedures for first time and repeat offenders.
  • The method or methods of testing you will employee. While breath testing for alcohol is standard, for drug testing there are generally two choices – saliva drug testing and urine drug testing.
  • How will you educate your employees about your workplace’s drug and alcohol policy and the dangers of coming to work under the influence?
  • The support you will provide employees.

Getting support to implement random drug testing in your Perth workplace

Integrity Sampling conducts drug and alcohol testing in Perth and 6 other branches across Western Australia. In addition, we can help with all aspects of drug and alcohol management, including the development of drug and alcohol policies.

So when your Perth workplace is ready to introduce random drug testing, we’re ready to help. Give us a call on 1300 SALIVA to get the ball rolling.

You can’t dictate whether your employees can take illegal drugs or drink alcohol excessively in their own time, but you do have a right to ensure they are in a safe condition to perform their job. Therefore, undertaking random drug testing in your Perth workplace is a legitimate thing to do.

Paul
About

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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