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General Guidelines for a Drug Free Work Environment

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In the developed nations around – and to some extent, even in the up-and-coming nations – employers and governments recognize the importance of maintaining a drug-free work environment. From Australia to Canada and everywhere in-between, multiple studies over the years have shown that controlled substances are a huge detriment in the workplace.

OZ drug testing kits take the guesswork out of making sure you’ve got all the necessary tools for maintaining compliance with local and federal laws. All that’s left for you to do is ensure that the brass is educated on drug and alcohol guidelines in the office, as well as making sure that the actual method of testing your employees is carried out efficiently and fairly.

The Undeniable Benefits of Drug Testing

The key to implementing a successful drug testing program starts with outlining the procedure, and then following it to the letter. The guidelines in your location are the result of years – decades, even – of testing; communicating what you require of your employees to them is the anchor of a good program.

In fact, there are some studies in the United States that show such programs diminish the overall level of tolerance for drugs in the workplace, which further helps to reduce clandestine use that would escape the purview of managers and directors.

The American Institute for a Drug Free Workplace has a site of guidelines that could be of use to even Australian companies seeking clarification on issues concerning drug use; further online research can lead you to info on the medico-legal statutes of the Australian/New Zealand Standard: “Procedures for the collection, detection and quantification of drugs of abuse in urine.”

Employee Drug Testing in Australia

Despite some of the similarities you may see between the American system of workplace drug-testing and the Australian variant, it is imperative to know some general differences. It’s widely-accepted that the reduction of on-the-job drunkenness and drug use are beneficial to both employee and employer; however, the tribunals and industrial courts generally count as intrusive random drug testing beyond what’s necessary to reduce the risk that employees may come to work impaired.

There have been several high profile court cases in the construction and forestry mining sectors involving an employer’s right to intrude on what drugs and alcohol an employee may use in his/her spare time away from work.

What is the Appropriate Method of Testing, Then?

The best course of action, because of labor laws instituted by the Fair Work Commission, is to make sure that your company’s drug testing policy is outlined in the initial contract the employee signs in order to begin working there. As such, if you implement a random drug test and the employee refuses, subsequent punitive action is much more likely to be deemed justifiable.

As for the specific drug testing method, it is generally agreed that urine or saliva samples return positive or negative results reliably – although with some caveats. Testing for drug use in the urine tends to show patterns of consistent drug use, and may not be good enough to ascertain that the drug use, which may have been done during the employee’s off-time, is actively impairing his on-the-job duties. Testing saliva is more reliable for detecting very recent use.

Although there are some issues to work out regarding the most effective method of drug testing in the workplace, at least you know that OZ Drug Tests carries the full spectrum of examination tools to help you effectively implement whatever testing mechanism you put into place.