One in 10 Australian employees say they have been affected by a colleagues use of alcohol or drugs in the workplace resulting in lost productivity, involvement in an accident or near miss, or having to work extra hours to cover for a co-worker.
To avoid incident, a clearly set out Alcohol and Drug testing policy with precise measures to take, in terms of safety and health risks arising from alcohol and drugs, will reduce risks to both employees and employers. And that policy should be rigorously implemented using world-class testing devices such as those provided by Alcolizer Technology.
Annually more than 4% of Australians go to work affected by alcohol and 2% go to work affected by illicit drugs. In addition, equal caution should be given to the misuse of prescription drugs.
- 10% of workplace deaths were drug or alcohol related
- 20-25% of workplace accidents were drug or alcohol related
- 61% of people reporting frequent use of drugs and/or alcohol were in full time employment
Alcohol and Drug testing is critical and the current COVID-19 pandemic has seen more Australians drinking alcohol which is not unusual says the ‘Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation; people who experience mass trauma such as terrorism, mass shootings, natural disasters and economic crisis (as seen with COVID-19) increase alcohol consumption and misuse.’
Figures from the Australian Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2016 showed 28% of Australians aged 20-29 years had used illicit drugs in the past 12 months. It revealed the top four illegal drugs used during that time were cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and meth/ amphetamines. Many users fail to realise it can take several days to “come down” from drugs such as ecstasy, ice and amphetamines, meaning drug usage on the weekend can still seriously impact work performance during the week.
There is always a level of risk when using any drug including prescription or over- the-counter medications. For instance, benzodiazepines (e.g. Valium®) and strong painkillers (e.g. codeine) can seriously impact the ability to work safely. This is particularly the case for drugs that the individual hasn’t taken before as drug reactions vary from person to person.
Alcohol and drug testing
Effective testing should ideally be the least invasive method and provide timely results. Breath testing for alcohol and oral fluid testing for drugs are highly recommended as the preferred methods of testing as they are non-invasive, discreet and quick to administer. All testing should be conducted in accordance with the relevant Australian Standards.
When to test
Alcolizer Technology offers a range of testing programs and devices that employers can utilise such as:
- Voluntary self-testing – providing facilities for a worker to self-test at the workplace making
- Random testing – any worker or a select group of workers may be tested on a random basis.
- Upon reasonable belief – a worker who shows signs of being affected by alcohol and/or drugs should be considered for testing. When a worker is suspected of being affected at work primary consideration must be given to the safety of the individual and of others
- Testing after a workplace health and safety incident – a worker may be required to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test if they are involved in an incident.
Alcolizer Technology provides a range of devices for testing alcohol and drugs plus a full results management program, AlcoConnect Data Management. Using the Alcolizer LE5 and Druglizer LE5 combined with AlcoConnect Data Management you can ensure a comprehensive testing program is maintained.
Alternatively, the team from Alcolizer Technology’s OnSite Testing program can come to you and complete the full test regime on your behalf.
Adopting a comprehensive AOD policy with supportive measures for impacted employees will mean a safer and more productive workplace and reduce the risk of punitive legal action against an organisation. Alcolizer Technology is a world-leader in the field of Alcohol and other Drugs testing and is recognised as one of Australia’s most innovative and forward- thinking company’s. Our products are designed in Australia, for Australia and exported around the world wherever people value quality, reliability and innovation
For more information regarding Alcolizer Technology’s devices, programs and professional training contact 1300 789 908 or contact your local sales specialist.
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