It is a well known fact a correlation exists between inappropriate alcohol and other drug usage, and stress and anxiety. In today’s modern world stress is a fact of life, and managing it appropriately in the workplace must be considered as a priority. But how do we manage this issue with the kind of objectivity that is required by both the paid workforce and by management?
In 2010, The Australian Work and Life Index (AWALI) discovered “the majority of workers say they are frequently (often or almost always) rushed and pressed for time. Two-thirds of full-time women, and half of full-time men, and more than half of part-time women and a third of part time men lay claim to these statistics.” But in relation to shift work and the mining industry, and the accompanying stresses due to family dislocation and week on/week off rostering, this “rush effect’ and consequent AOD issues may be even greater than that of the general workforce population What then, are the implications for productivity, health and ongoing work satisfaction of employees and that work environment?
One of the key recommendations of the AWALI survey was the need for “managers, educators and governments to consider giving much greater attention to the promulgation of models of good practice in relation to work-life friendly practices and the development and use of reliable metrics to measure the effects of changes in policy and practice.” These models of practice need to be CREDIBLE and RELIABLE, and also need to adhere to objectivity in an effort to balance out potential conflicts or disharmonies between employers and employees.
And as part of this approach, it may well be the case that recent changes in policy and/or practice in Australia in relation to independently executed drug and alcohol workplace testing augurs well for future health of employees. In Fitness for Duty in the Mining Industry -A Legal Perspective, Bilal and Elgar state that use of appropriate testing methods can form part of a healthy fitness for work program:
- Employers should ensure any testing procedures for drugs and alcohol, adopted in a program are CREDIBLE and RELIABLE. Consider the use of EXTERNAL PROVIDERS, as they are more likely to be seen as conducting their work at arm’s length from the employer.
CMM Technology provides credible, thorough and reliable workplace testing. As an external provider, CMM is able to ensure the degree of independence and objectivity that is required in order to maintain healthy workplace relations between management and employees on site and on the ground in the day to day operations of an industry or business.
For reliable and credible testing procedures, telephone CMM Technology on 08 9204 2500.
 Professor Barbara Pocock, Natalie Skinner and Sandra Pisaniello. How much should we work: Working hours, holidays and working life: the participation challenge. The Australian Work and Life Index 2010.
 Bilal and Elgar, Senior Associates, Blake, Dawson, Waldron. Fitness for Duty in the Mining Industry – A Legal Perspective.