Current views on workplace drug and alcohol policies point to a range of initiatives that suit the individual needs of a particular business or industry site/model. Rather than a single-focus approach that templates out a drug and alcohol policy in a generic fashion, each specific industry or business requires the address of multiple factors that keep abreast of current research, views and legislative and legal issues relating to AOD’s and their impact on a workplace’s health and safety. Such an approach mitigates employer responsibilities in light of duty of care and allows for appropriate protection against potential litigation or culpability.
While this is true, the underpinnings of a multi-faceted approach must be founded on current guides and legalities that outline employers’ roles and responsibilities in a clear fashion. For example, employers must ensure “the health and welfare of all employees by providing:
- A safe workplace environment
- Safe work systems and procedures
- Information, instruction, training and supervision of all employees
- A process of consulting with employees, involving them in decisions and informing them of decisions that may affect their health and safety
- Processes for identifying hazards, assessing risks and elimination or control of risks
- Processes for regular review of risk control measures.
The details of the actual machinations and implementation of these facets of the approach may be site specific, whilst the legislative guidelines and underpinnings remain fixed. The approach to drug and alcohol policy development links in with the need for a clear identification of hazards and risks, and the elimination and control of these risks. Constructive address of this may indeed involve drug-testing. In short, “the decision to use alcohol and other drug testing should be made in consultation with employees, OHS representatives and union representatives. Agreement may be sought where a risk assessment has identified that there are risks involved in undertaking certain activities whilst under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.”
The mode of testing required will depend on site, site culture, remoteness, economic considerations, gender issues and a host of other factors. Portable testing products, on-site wall fitted units, oral saliva testing or urinalysis testing are just a small selection of options and considerations that businesses, industry and work environments need to consider when modeling a drug testing program as part of an overall risk management strategy and OHS policy.
CMM Technology offers a range of testing products that can be adapted to individualized workplace AOD procedures and policies.
Alcohol testing products such as the hand-held Alcosense Precision Breathalyser, engineered with an electrochemical fuel cell that “can measure the concentration of alcohol exhaled from human breath precisely and accurately to three decimal points,” is a portable and cost-effective unit particularly suited to small business that may not require the overheads of a more advanced and stationary breathalyser model. It portability may also be favoured by law enforcement and the medical profession.
Alternatively, the Wall Mounted Breathalyser BTA-30-DAS-I is a high end model favoured in heavy industry where a rugged, fast and accurate mode of breath testing is required. The rapid throughput (with two tests per minute) allows for installation at site gates, therefore streamlining and minimising the intrusion of alcohol breath testing in a large-scale workplace or environment. This model requires no off-site recalibration, which leads to both time and cost savings for larger businesses and industries.
If you would like to know more about developing a tailored policy and sourcing high quality drug and alcohol testing products that suit your business, telephone specialist staff at CMM Technology on 08 9204 2500.
 Ibid. P. 11.