Employees Need to Comply with Workplace Drug and Alcohol Policy

It’s unusual these days for an employer not to have a workplace drug and alcohol policy. 

A formal policy makes it clear to all workers what behaviour is acceptable.

Employees who are unfit for work due to alcohol or other drug use put themselves and other people in the workplace at risk of harm. Some industries prohibit workers from using any drugs, legal or illegal.

Australian businesses lose an estimated $6 billion annually due to substance use related productivity issues and 7.5% of hospital morbidity is related to alcohol consumption in the workplace. 

“Impaired workers can result in lateness, a decrease in attention span, poor coordination, difficulty in comprehension, slower reaction times and absenteeism. Production can also decrease due to accidents or damage to plant and equipment,” said Jaka Exstrada, Andatech’s Business Development Manager.

Andatech is a leading Australian supplier of drug and alcohol testing equipment and services for employers and to third party testing services.

The various types of testing carried out by employers include: 

* random testing;

* special days testing when people are more likely to give a positive result, such as the days after Melbourne Cup Day or Australia Day;

* pre-employment testing;

* incidence tests and for-cause tests, where they are suspected to be under the influence;

* entry-to-workplace testing.

“Testing of any type improves employee compliance,” said Jaka. “Because the units used for testing drugs and alcohol are portable, they can be deployed anywhere and at any time.”

Andatech's Prodigy S breathalyser, which has a fuel cell sensor designed for exceptional accuracy, is a good choice when it comes to workplace testing for alcohol. 

The compact DrugSense DSO 7-unit tests for seven drugs: Amphetamine (AMP); Benzodiazepine (BZO); Cocaine (COC); Ecstasy (MDMA); Methamphetamine/Ice (MET); Opiates/Morphine/Heroine (OPI); and Marijuana/Cannabinoid (THC).

The Prodigy S offers unlimited tests between calibrations and has a long lifespan for high volume testing environments. The DrugSense DSO 7 provides clear, easy-to-read results that are ready within five minutes of sample collection.

If employers don’t want to carry out the tests themselves, they can outsource it to a third-party tester, which can customise the process for each organisation, tailoring the level of equipment, the frequency and the volume of drug and alcohol testing to suit their requirements.

When breathalysing a lot of people, employers can use Prodigy's passive sampling cup to capture the breath and providing fast results. If someone produces a positive reading, a more accurate test can be carried out with a mouthpiece.

Jaka Exstrada

Jaka has been a long-standing employee with Andatech, and has a background in events, marketing, and hospitality business management. An accredited Drug and Alcohol Officer for Drug Abuse Testing, Jaka brings valuable insight into the fields of drug testing. With his knowledge, companies also consult Jaka for drug and alcohol policies, and regulations- all of which he provides briefs on drug abuse information in the workplace.