NSCA Foundation

Saliva drug testing standard reviewed for safety

Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Saliva drug testing standard reviewed for safety

The standard for saliva drug testing is currently undergoing revision by Standards Australia, industry bodies and community members.

The aim of this review is to improve the reliability of results, confidence in the testing and overall improved safety.

Mobile drug testing is increasingly more common, with police conducting up to 200,000 roadside drug tests each year in NSW by the year 2020. However, drug testing is also becoming more common and widespread in a range of industries such as mining, construction and transport.

Standards Australia has therefore been working with industry bodies and community members to update the standard for drug testing to ensure methods are up to date and deliver results consistent with community expectations.

“A number of occupations are involved in regular drug testing as part of achieving a safer workplace. Given the nature of the work at the centre of these tests, there is a strong interest in accurate results,” said Adrian O’Connell, Acting CEO of Standards Australia.

AS/NZS 4670:2019, Procedure for specimen collection and the detection and quantitation of drugs in oral fluid has been published with a clear commitment of results and safety. The standard highlights the latest methods of detecting drugs in saliva, which is particularly useful for law enforcement agencies as well as groups conducting local drug testing at major events like music festivals.

“This has been a very important area of work for us for some time. This revision has been built with regard to the latest technology and scientific developments to benefit to our community,” O’Connell said.

“The publication of this standard will have incredible flow-on effects, as it guides safety improvements across countless industries in communities across the country.”

According to Dr Michael Robertson, Chair of the Standards Australia Technical Committee responsible for the revised standard, organisations performing on-site drug testing stand to benefit most, given the improvements provided by this standard for the detection of drugs using oral fluids.

“Procedures outlined in this standard have been developed with the support of device manufacturers, testing laboratories, aviation agencies, trade unions and several other groups with varied interests and requirements,” Robertson said.

“All of these groups have worked tirelessly together to ensure the standard is easy to use yet comprehensive, while achieving the primary aim of improving safety in the workplace and on our roads, rail and in the air.”

Image credit: ©1dbrf10/Dollar Photo Club

NSCA Foundation is a member based, non-profit organisation working together with members to improve workplace health and safety throughout Australia. For more information and membership details click here
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