Three million working days are lost in Australia each year due to alcohol- and drug-related issues, according to a 2007 media release issued by the Australian Psychological Society. Employees affected by alcohol or other drugs may present a safety risk, and employment of best drug testing practices is vital for effective and efficient functioning of organisations. However, the most suitable method for workplace drug testing still remains debated.
The AlcoSense Prodigy2 is a handheld breath alcohol testing device to monitor the concentration of alcohol in a person. The Prodigy2 features a bright, easy-to-use, touch-screen interface, memory to record over 30,000 entries, USB connection to download data, in-built thermal printer for evidence, passive mode to simply test for the presence of alcohol and screen test mode for police-grade accuracy, certified to Australian Standards AS3574; 0.005% BAC between 0.000-0.400% BAC.
The decision about a suitable workplace drug testing method can be a difficult one for many safety sensitive industries, according to an Australian supplier of drug and alcohol screening programs, Medvet Laboratories.
With Registered Training Organisation (RTO) status, Medvet Laboratories can provide on-site drug and alcohol testing services and training complying with the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).
The 12-minute Drug-Safe induction kit allows recruiters and HR/HSE management to deliver a fast and informative program for new staff/contractors that outlines the company’s policy on alcohol and drugs in the workplace.
Pathtech offers training in the use of saliva drug detection devices to assist companies adhere to the Australian Standard Procedures for Specimen Collection and the Detection and Quantitation of Drugs in Oral Fluid (AS 4760-2006) to comply with their OHS requirements.
The DrugWipe 5+ saliva drug detection device from Securetec has been updated with an improved THC assay, which has been designed to run quicker and pick up more THC positive results. The kit is available in single-, twin- or five-drug device formats, providing detection for the following illicit drug groups: cannabis, amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine and opiates.
Drug and alcohol testing is one of the most contentious issues in the workplace - detection versus impairment, employees’ rights versus employers’ responsibilities, ensuring worker safety versus dictating workers’ lifestyles, just to name a few of the issues. Despite the polarised views that often exist towards drugs and alcohol in the workplace and testing for them, there are important practical issues that must be understood and addressed to ensure the workplace is safe and fair.
The Canberra government has issued a discussion paper on random roadside drug testing, to address the complexities associated with it and for Canberrans to understand the importance of getting legislation right.
According to workplace drug and alcohol screening specialist, Frontline Diagnostics, employers need to be mindful of the effects of alcohol on safety and productivity, particularly during the festive season.
A recent court ruling finds that a positive oral fluid drug test is more likely to indicate actual impairment than a positive urine drug test.
Drug Action Week is a national initiative to raise awareness on the harm caused by illicit drugs in the workplace.