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The importance of Drug and Alcohol testing in the workplace.

Drug and Alcohol testing

Did you know that up to 10% of deaths and injuries in the workplace are most commonly due to drug or alcohol?

This is estimated to cost workplaces across Australia around $1.5 billion per year, not including the reduced productivity and absenteeism associated (Safety in Action, 2016).

Alcohol consumption also has long-term impacts on an individual's health. Regular drinking can cause long-term damage to the body and there are a significant number of alcohol-related diseases and health problems caused by alcohol consumption in Australia, including:

  • cancer (bowel, breast, throat, mouth, bowel, liver)
  • liver disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • stroke
  • dependence
  • mental health problems

As an employer you have a legal obligation to respond to alcohol use and related-harm in the workplace through 'duty of care' provisions under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (1994). Employees also have an obligation to take reasonable care of their own safety and health and not endanger the safety and health of others at the workplace.

Alcohol use and harmful drinking can have a number of adverse impacts on workplaces. These include:

  • Safety, an unsafe work environment with risks and accidents resulting in injury and or death particularly in occupations involving operating heavy machinery or driving vehicles.
  • Workplace relationships with co-workers and clients and customers.
  • The effects of alcohol can impact on behaviour e.g. an individual affected by alcohol may act unprofessionally towards clients and customers in work situations; co-workers may be resentful for covering for others affected by alcohol or the 'hangover' effects of alcohol.
  • Lower workplace productivity due to short-term absenteeism and a lower quality and quantity of work due to poor decision making and disruption to operations and co-workers covering for alcohol-affected employees.
  • Workplace economy with long-term alcohol-related burden attributed to compensation and employer liabilities; loss of skills and employees; and the related costs of replacement and training new employees (alcohol think again, 2014).

How to identify drug abuse behavior:

  • Frequent sick leave especially following the weekend
  • Frequent workplace accidents and incidents
  • Theft
  • Frequent requests for pay advances
  • Behavioural changes
  • Longer or unexplained breaks during work
  • Presence of drug taking paraphernalia in the workplace

So why conduct drug & alcohol testing?

  • Improve workplace safety by decreasing chance of accident and therefore improve employee morale
  • Improve productivity by reduction in absenteeism and earlier detection of problems that could affect job performance
  • The costs associated with insurance, product defects and compensation claims will be reduced therefore saving your hard earned revenue.

Our testing involves techniques for detecting drugs in a sample of urine, this includes the detection of Cannabinoids, Amphetamine, Benzodiazepines, Cocaine and Opiates.

The collection of the sample and the subsequent laboratory testing is carried out in accordance with AS/NZ 4308:2008.

To organise drug and alcohol screening at you workplace call 13 LABS (13 52 27)