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December 13 2015

Drug And Alcohol Testing At Work Doesn't Deter Anyone, So Why Do It?

All Australian government-funded construction sites now require contractors to have a comprehensive fitness-for-work policy that includes mandatory drug and alcohol testing. The amendments apply to all new and existing projects after October 16, 2015, where the Commonwealth has contributed at least A$5 million and 50% of project value or at least A$10 million towards the project. But drug testing is not associated with deterring people from taking drugs, so why do we do it? Employed people are more likely than unemployed people to drink at risky levels. Plus, workers in the building and construction industry have a higher rate of use of some drugs than the general population. To be effective a workplace policy needs to be part of a broader healthy workplace solution that considers drug and alcohol use, mental health, fatigue and other impacts on fitness for work. Workplaces with effective drug and alcohol policies have happier, healthier and more productive staff and reduced absenteeism.