Why Introduce Workplace Alcohol & Drug Testing?

Workplaces implement a drug testing service for a variety of reasons. Usually, they consider testing because they have been forced by circumstances to do so. For example, there may have been a workplace incident; they may have discovered evidence that there is use in the workplace; there may have been an event accidently posted on social media; or they could be compelled in certain industries (such as mining or construction) to conduct drug testing, or it may be required as part of a tender.

Factors driving a strategy to test may be also be driven by legislative requirements, but should also include consideration of risk factors around safety, concerns around productivity indicators, moral or ethical perceptions, societal prevalence of drugs in our communities, industry data and many other issues. The persistent supply of drugs continues, many of them manufactured for profit and distributed with little or no regard to human life. Workplaces are not immune or protected from them as their residual affects on users are not controlled by a 9-5 time clock.

From a productivity perspective a number of studies have shown the increased impact of drugs and alcohol on absenteeism, staff turnover and an increase in management action to resolve disciplinary issues. This means that frequent and ongoing testing in a well designed AOD program has a very strong impact on improving the safety and productivity of a workplace.

It is estimated that issues associated with drugs and alcohol cost Australian workplaces around $5.2 billion a year and about 15 per cent of workplace injuries worldwide can be attributed to drug and alcohol abuse. This is why drug and alcohol testing, as part of a robust workplace AOD management program, is a must for all Australian businesses serious about safety.

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