A Definition of Fitness for Work (FFW)/ Fitness for Duty (FFD)

According to various nationally recognised VETAB qualifications (i.e. Statement of Attainment in Alcohol & Other Drugs in the Workplace and Certificate IV in Alcohol and Other Drugs), “Fitness for Work” (FFW) / “Fitness for Duty” (FFD) refers to a state, whether physical, mental and emotional, which enables an individual to perform an assigned task competently and safely. FFW/ FFD are major safety considerations for organisations, especially those that operate in high “safety risk” associated industries, such as: Mining, Aviation, Construction and Transport.

An individual’s FFW may be adversely affected for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Physical impairment
  • Medical conditions
  • Emotional state
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs

These cited areas of concern are noted by OHS professionals as potentially and detrimentally impacting the competency levels of an employee’s workplace performance. Consequently, the likelihood of accidents and general risk in the workplace is greatly increased. To help circumvent accidents in the workplace, the FFW/ FFD stipulates that preliminary assessments prior to work duties commencing be routinely conducted to ascertain whether an employee is safely capable of completing their duties.

A well-designed, ethical and consistently implemented FFW/ FFD policy can exponentially improve the risk management strategy and safety records of an organisation. This is further enhanced if a key component of a FFW/ FFD policy stipulates the usage of a workplace drug and alcohol testing program.

Therefore, to ensure your workplace is OHS compliant, a “Fitness for Work” or “Fitness for Duty” policy is a gold standard OHS policy which is highly recommended for the majority of workplaces:  this policy is designed to provide an effective and early intervention checking system for employees and contractors to assure their physical competence to complete their assigned tasks safely and competently.

For expert policy consultation and policy guidance, call CMM Technology today on (+618) 9204 2500 for more information.

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