Drug & Alcohol monitoring in the workplace

If you are considering implementing a Drug & Alcohol policy in your workplace, there are some considerations that should be worked through prior to the introduction of the policy. Though there is case law available that has supported employer’s decision to terminate a worker, there are as many cases where the worker has overturned this decision due to poor design and implementation of the policy.
However, before getting to a court of law to determine if a termination was just, employers should ensure that their company’s drug and alcohol policies are developed through a consultative approach to assist in defining all the issues and how the process will evolve should a breach be identified.
The Policy should
– clearly define in simple terms what is unacceptable behaviour, including any forms of disciplinary behaviour such as dismissal.
– be part of a structured communication process that ensures a consistent message is given to all workers including new workers, contractors and visitors to site.
– consider precautions to be implemented that consider False Positives and even the possibility of faulty measuring equipment used as part of the initial testing. These units are becoming more precise however they are only indicators of a Non Negative and that a Positive result is only provided from the NATA testing agency. Management reacting too early; victimising or even seen to be punishing a worker at this early stage should be cautioned.
In short when implementing any workplace policy, employers need to ensure the policy is clear, widely and consistently disseminated in an easily to understand format to assist in avoiding any confusion or a HR issue.

Incident Notification – a near miss carries the same weight as an injury!

Incident notifications to the Regulator are required for a number of notifiable situations being the death of a person, a serious injury or illness of a person; or a dangerous incident. Dangerous incidents are prescribed events that expose a worker or any other person to a serious risk to a person’s health or safety. No actual injury need occur. These near miss situations must be reported.

Under the new Work Health and Safety Act, it is no longer necessary for a person to be killed to receive exposure to the maximum penalty available.  A Category 1 offence (criminal offence with the maximum penalties) occurs when a duty holder, without reasonable excuse, engages in conduct that recklessly exposes a person to a risk of death or serious injury or illness. Hence, no injury has to have occurred!!

You can no longer rely on the competency of equipment hire companies… you share the responsibility of failure!

The supplier of the plant has a duty to ensure the plant is maintained to the manufacturer’s specification, and provide adequate information about the plants operation i.e. the manufacturer’s handbook.

Hiring plant transfers the duty for the plant to the hirer. The need, suitability and performance requirements of the plant are to be assessed prior to the plant being provided for the workers to use. Workers must also be trained or assessed as competent to operate the plant by the employer before being allowed to operate it. At this time any hazard identified must be reduced to a reasonably practical level.

Dangerous Goods App

Have you downloaded our Dangerous Goods App for iPhone covering the Segregation of Dangerous Goods Requirements yet? It’s Free!

Not all Dangerous Goods can be stored together, many are incompatible. They may need to have sufficient distances between them to eliminate the risk of fire, explosion, or accumulation of toxic gases from a leak or spillage, etc. This tool minimizes the risk associated with chemical storage by providing practical advice on what can be stored together and what needs to be segregated using internationally recognized guidelines. Make your workplace a safer place to work and comply with the safety laws.

This free segregation chart is provided to assist persons who are responsible storing dangerous goods to better minimise the risk of storing incompatible goods. Follow the link below to the Apple Store where you can access more info and download our App today!

DOWNLOAD FREE HERE