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Importance of Employee Drug Tests in Australia

Thousands of drug or alcohol related-incidents affect Australian workplaces each year. Occupational accidents and injuries are serious health and safety issues in the workplace and among the general public. Unfortunately, the prevalence of drugs and alcohol can lead to more losses and problems without preventive actions. Nowadays, more companies perform employee alcohol and drug tests in Australia to improve safety. It is an organisation-wide program to maintain a hazard-free and healthy working environment. Moreover, it is a standard procedure for regulated industries, such as mining, transport, aviation, and construction, with zero-tolerance policies. High-risk workplaces use devices like the professional breathalysers at Breathalysers Australia. Breathalysers Australia offers robust alcohol testers suiting workplace testing needs. 

The Need for Employee Alcohol and Drug Tests in Australia

Drugs and alcohol misuse have many direct and indirect impacts on individuals and the community. Immediate consequences include impairment in the senses and motor skills. These impairments affect the ability to drive or operate machinery. As a result, employees under the influence of drugs or alcohol pose safety risks in the workplace. They are prone to making errors and poor decisions. Therefore, the need for employee alcohol and drug tests in Australia is critical. It also offers the following benefits:

  • Safe environment – scheduled or random drug tests help deter substance use. In addition, workplaces have lowered their accident rates after introducing a drug and alcohol policy.
  • High productivity – fewer accidents due to consistent workplace testing, in turn, have reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, and high-quality outputs. Therefore, workplaces benefit from an uninterrupted workflow. 
  • Increased employee morale and company integrity – a safe and healthy environment results in a stable workforce and positive employee morale. Companies also strengthen their integrity in public. 
  • Reduced legal liability – company policies help employers mitigate legal risks. Additionally, managing workplace hazards reduce potential problems that may arise from untoward incidents. It also helps cut down costs from hospitalisation and compensation expenses.
  • Promote better health – consistent workplace testing encourages employees to take their health and safety seriously. Moreover, employees tend to perform better when they know their welfare is a priority. 
  • Identify employees with disorders – workplace tests help identify employees struggling with substance abuse problems. In addition, employers can offer assistance with rehabilitation until they are fit to work. 

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Employee Alcohol and Drug Tests in Australia: Significance of a Company Policy

All businesses in Australia must provide a safe and healthy workplace by minimising all preventable risks. It includes establishing a clear set of policies and procedures to reduce potential harm. One way to manage risks is to identify the hazards that may lead to accidents and injuries. Thus, drugs and alcohol are the top factors of workplace incidents, decreased productivity, and even strained relationships. In addition, conducting employee alcohol and drug tests in Australia is a practical strategy that employers do to maintain safety. However, organisations may be able to implement drug and alcohol tests through a comprehensive policy. A workplace policy is the company’s guidelines on the use of drugs and alcohol. It includes the list of prohibited substances, detection measures, and consequences of failed drug tests

Employers must communicate the workplace policy to all personnel to avoid potential legal problems. It should also consider sensitive areas, like employee rights and privacy. It enables companies to conduct employee alcohol and drug tests in Australia while adhering to state laws. Therefore, there must be a discourse between the management and employees on how it would benefit everyone before finalising the policy. In addition, each procedure is tailored to a company’s specific needs. They outline the code of conduct expected of all workers. Lastly, a workplace policy provides a clear and consistent response in handling situations. 

Implementing Alcohol and Drug Tests in Australian Workplaces: Testing Methods

Workplaces employ several testing methods according to their particular needs. For example, drug screening identifies illegal substances like amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, hallucinogens, and opiates. Meanwhile, a breath test through a breathalyser device like the BACtrack efficiently determines alcohol concentration in the system. Furthermore, each method has varied detection periods suitable for different situations. The procedures of alcohol and drug tests in Australia are:

  • Urine test – urine analysis can detect drugs for 24 hours. However, urine can trace drugs longer if a person takes drugs frequently. In addition, advanced tests can detect drugs for up to 72 hours.
  • Saliva test – this test collects an oral fluid sample by swabbing the insides of the mouth. Saliva can trace drugs within 5 to 24 hours from the last use. Due to its short detection time, it is convenient for screening recent consumption.
  • Blood test – drugs are detectable within minutes to 6 hours, depending on the substance and dose. It is the most accurate yet the most invasive procedure. Therefore, it is used to confirm a preliminary test result.
  • Hair test – drugs and alcohol compounds remain in the hair for up to 90 days. Therefore, it is efficient in determining a person’s long-term use.
  • Breath test – a breath test can trace alcohol within 20 minutes to 24 hours. A breathalyser device calculates the amount of alcohol or the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) through sample breath. 

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Alcohol Testing with BACtrack Breathalysers

A breath test is a non-invasive method of checking the BAC. Alcohol and drug tests in Australia use professional devices like the BACtrack breathalysers to get accurate findings. In addition, workplaces commonly use a fuel cell breathalyser to measure their employees’ alcohol levels. It is because breathalysers with fuel cell sensors are specific to ethyl alcohol and do not interact with other substances. Therefore, it is less likely to produce false positives, especially for people with diabetes or on a low-calorie diet. Breathalysers Australia offers the BACtrack workplace breathalysers as efficient and reliable devices. The BACtrack fuel cell breathalysers give consistent readings despite consecutive tests. 

Depending on their testing requirements, companies may choose the BACtrack S80 Pro Gen2, Mobile Gen2, and the Alcovisor Mercury. For example, the S80 Pro Gen2 enables fast and accurate BAC readings within 10 to 15 seconds. The Mobile Gen2 breathalyser can deliver the BAC results directly to a smartphone via Bluetooth. It is ideal for remote testing and monitoring for employees working offsite. Lastly, the Alcovisor Mercury enables passive screening and breath testing modes. Therefore, dependable devices like the BACtrack assists employers in conducting alcohol and drug tests in Australia more efficiently. 

Conclusion

The importance of employee alcohol and drug tests in Australia helps companies minimise safety risks associated with substance impairment. It also improves productivity and boosts employee morale. Devices like the BACtrack breathalysers from Breathalysers Australia help workplaces maintain a safe and hazard-free environment. Moreover, a BACtrack breathalyser enables consistent BAC monitoring at a fraction of the cost of laboratory procedures. You may check the wide selections of pro-grade devices at Breathalysers Australia online.