Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing Course

MediNat Australia works in partnership with professional dedicated Onsite Workplace Drug Testing teams across Australia.

If you require Onsite Drug Testing Service or Course, please contact us with your details and requirements and we will have one of our teams contact you directly.

A question we are frequently asked - Should I conduct my own onsite drug testing?

This has been answered very well by Pathtech in the five key questions below:

Pathtech has developed a checklist that may help organisations manage their in-house drug testing program. The checklist consists of five key questions and answers that have been designed to help guide organisations with internal discussion when they are developing or changing their in-house drug testing program. The details are as follows:

Q1: What is the objective of your in-house drug testing program - is it to identify drug-use history or ensure fitness for work?

The answer to this question will govern which testing method will best suit the needs of your workplace. If organisations are looking to identify the drug-use history of its employees, and therefore their lifestyle choices, then urine testing could provide the best solution. If, however, organisations are only interested in ensuring that all their staff and contractors are fit for work when they are on-site, then saliva testing may provide the best solution. Saliva testing identifies only recent/current drug use and hence can help to determine who is capable to work during a particular shift.

Q2: How often will you be conducting drug tests?

It may be useful to establish a set of targets to help govern how many employees, or what percentage of the organisation’s workforce, will be screened for drugs in the testing schedule. It is also important to consider the frequency of testing and whether it will be conducted on defined schedule or a random basis. Many organisations prefer random testing as the lack of a schedule itself can act as a drug-use deterrent. Employees then know that the drug testing can happen at any time, to anyone. However, even with a random schedule, setting testing goals can be useful.

Q3: Who will manage the testing?

Once the organisation has clarity on the testing targets, it can then resource the program with appropriately selected employees accordingly. To manage the process in-house, the Australian Standard stipulates that the employee needs to undergo the appropriate testing officer training with a registered training organisation. The course is usually one day in duration (with online options available), and on completion of the course, the employee will then be equipped to manage the testing regime. In-house testing can also provide cost benefits and the ability for the organisation to have a greater control over the testing program.

Q4: Do your employees know what to expect when being tested?

A clearly communicated company position statement on drug and alcohol testing should be designed to help minimise employee objections and concerns around the testing program. The statement may cover information on who may be tested, the means of testing (saliva vs urine), as well as the company’s stance on drug use in the workplace. For example, “Company Z has a zero tolerance drug policy in the workplace.”

Q5: What procedures must be followed if the result is positive?

It is considered best practice for any non-negative result to be confirmed by a secondary test. This can take place externally (for example, in a local medical centre) or by taking a second sample on-site and sending it directly to an external lab for confirmation. It is important that organisations make sure all employees are clear on the consequences of a failed drug screen. The results of the confirmation test may take a few days and a common immediate consequence for a non-negative initial drug screen is for the employee to be sent home, though this does vary greatly from policy to policy. Should the confirmation test come back as positive, the subsequent steps should also be clearly documented.