Building workers will now be able to be forced to take drug and alcohol tests according to a Fair Work Australia decision made in response to employer concerns about the safety risk of having drug and alcohol affected workers on job sites.
The Fair Work Australia decision in favour of Wagstaff Piling Pty Ltd and Thiess Pty Ltd came after a worker on a project refused to take a drug and alcohol test, despite the practice being in place for more than a year. The decision found that the agreement between Wagstaff and the CFMEU did not prohibit compulsory drug and alcohol tests.
"The risks to employee safety posed by drug and alcohol use have long been recognised by this tribunal and compulsory drug and alcohol testing is, of itself, not so extraordinary that it could not be argued to be a reasonable employer instruction," the decision stated.
Many employers have a drug and alcohol policy and conduct workplace testing. This decision confirms that workplace testing is lawful when implemented as part of an overall safety management program. Speak to the DASA team if you would like more information on how to implement such a program.
Read the article in full about workplace drug and alcohol testing and the comments made in response to this ruling: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/fair-work-australia-consents-to-forced-drug-tests-for-building-workers/story-fn7x8me2-1226164657658