Australian Workplace Drug Testing Laws
25 September, 2022
Is it legal? This question is vital regarding the Australian workplace drug testing laws. Although it is not mandatory, it is legal to conduct workplace drug testing in Australia. According to the Work Health and Safety Act, businesses must ensure that the health and safety of their workers are not at risk. Therefore, many companies or employers consider random drug and alcohol testing to identify using substances before or during work. Workplace drug testing is essential in high-risk industries such as mining, construction, transport, or aviation. It is crucial because it can deter employees from consuming drugs and alcohol that are otherwise hazardous. A cost-effective way to check for alcohol in employees is through a workplace breathalyser. Breathalysers Australia has the most comprehensive workplace breathalyser selection through BACtrack devices for highly reliable and consistent alcohol breath tests.
What do the Australian workplace drug testing laws say? First, the employer has the right to insist on drug or alcohol tests if with justifiable reasons. Reasons to push through a drug test include:
- An employee shows apparent signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some examples are bloodshot eyes, problematic behaviour, alcohol odour in the breath, slurred speech, or poor balance and coordination.
- An employee shows irrational or problematic behaviour. There might be an underlying reason if the employee starts to display aggressiveness. Furthermore, identifying or isolating the possible cause is essential to promoting a healthier working atmosphere.
- An employee who operates heavy machinery shows loss of balance, slow reaction time, or impaired reasoning. A healthy mind and body are crucial for jobs of this nature. Risky behaviours often lead to accidents or casualties.
Australian Workplace Drug Testing Laws for Employers
What can you do to follow the Australian workplace drug testing laws as an employer? As an employer, you are responsible for providing a drug and alcohol-free working environment. However, even though drug testing is legal, there are limitations. Firstly, there must be clear drug and alcohol policies before conducting workplace testing. The drug and alcohol policies must be understandable to all employees. Employees must understand and agree to undergo drug and alcohol tests randomly if it is for the welfare of everyone at work. Furthermore, companies also drug tests following a workplace accident. Luckily tests like alcohol breath testing are quick. Devices like BACtrack workplace breathalysers take only 10-15 seconds to process the results. Without a doubt, having quick tests available can help with less workflow disruption even on the day of testing.
In conclusion, companies can require employees to submit to drug or alcohol tests. Under the Australian workplace drug testing laws, it is perfectly legal to request drug testing as long as the parameters are clear. On the other hand, employees may self-check their blood alcohol level through a personal or company breathalyser. BACtrack workplace breathalysers is an ideal alcohol breath test method to check for accurate BAC readings.