Are your projects compliant with current building regulations?
Mandatory drug and alcohol testing is now required under Building Code 2013 for Commonwealth-funded projects.
LaneWorkSafe has been working within the construction industry for over 10 years and fully understands that changes to government legislation can be difficult to implement as each workforce is unique.
Kara Lane, a trained accredited collector and national sales manager for LaneWorkSafe, said: “Everyone working within the construction industry needs to be aware of what the testing involves, who should be tested and how frequently, and perhaps most importantly of all, understand the complexities involved when choosing a modality for their testing.
“Companies largely need to decide whether testing programs conduct urine screening or oral swab analysis for such programs — both are permitted under recent changes.
“There is no silver bullet when it comes to testing, but the premise of achieving a zero tolerance to drugs is a robust approach for the industry to ensure safer working environments.”
When did the changes come into effect?
The changes came into effect on 16 October 2015 and stipulate that Commonwealth-funded projects must include mandatory testing for drugs and alcohol with a focus on zero tolerance.
While the changes are only compulsory for Commonwealth-funded projects, LaneWorkSafe has helped successfully implement national drug and alcohol testing programs within privately funded sites as well.
“There has been noticeable flow-on effect across the industry over the last 12 months,” said Lane.
How do I know if the changes impact my project specifically?
At this stage, changes apply specifically to new and existing federal government projects that fall within a set financial threshold. Projects that require a ‘fitness for work’ policy include:
- where the value of the Commonwealth’s contribution to the project is at least $5 million and represents at least 50% of the total construction project value; or
- where the Commonwealth’s contribution to the project is at least $10 million.
Who needs to be tested for drugs and alcohol, and how is this managed?
According to the code, testing must be performed at random on a monthly basis and is mandatory for employees of the principal contractor, as well as any subcontractors and their employees.
“Partnering with a reputable supplier is the key to ensuring these changes are made with little fuss and to all involved parties’ satisfaction,” said Lane.
LaneWorkSafe can provide the necessary education, support and high-grade compliant testing devices, which can ensure such criteria are both reliably and cost-effectively met within the organisation, without a need to outsource.
As Lane explained: “Managing the testing process and programs in-house means workplaces have greater control of their testing schedule while still complying with the recent changes.”
Fair Work Building & Construction (FWBC) will audit projects to ensure that the drug and alcohol requirements of the fitness-for-work policy are being implemented. Failure to comply can result in sanctions by FWBC.
“Another key component is ensuring a program can continue to meet with what is required under the code ongoing. This is vital to ensuring a successful program.
“One of the biggest challenges workplaces face, especially during the implementation phase, is administrating the use of a non-compliant device. Failure to ensure urine testing devices come with a Certificate of Compliance can have disastrous effects and undermine safety programs entirely,” said Lane.
The LaneWorkSafe Split Specimen Cup meets with the criteria outlined in recent Building Code changes as well as Australian Standard 4308:2008.
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