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  • Writer's pictureDASA

Ice at Work

A recent report from South Australia’s peak business lobby, Business SA, has found that more people than ever are turning up for work under the influence of methamphetamines (commonly referred to as Ice).

Business SA teamed up with SafeWork Laboratories to get a better understanding of drug use in Australian workplaces. Their research found that in 2017, 240,000 workers tested positive for methamphetamines - an increase from 1.5% to 1.9% in just one year.

In South Australia, the report also found about 5,000 people working in safety-sensitive industries were "either under the influence of ice or suffering its hangover effects".

The increased incidence of ice in the workplace is a reflection of what’s happening in the broader community.  Ice is by far the most consumed illicit drug nationally, according to wastewater testing by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Their testing found that 8,387 kilograms of ice was consumed annually, compared to 3,075 kg of cocaine, 1,280 kg of MDMA and 765 kg of heroin.

At a glance: • Ice is by far the most consumed illicit drug in Australia, based on wastewater testing • 240,000 workers across the country turn up for work under the influence of ice or suffering its effects on any given day • The use of ice in Australia is on the rise

What can employers do about it? Employers have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and well-being of their staff. Having a worker under the influence of ice – or any illicit drug - presents a significant safety risk – not only to that worker but also to their co-workers.

Employers need to be clear and consistent in the way they talk about and manage drugs and alcohol in their workplace. The best place to start, we believe, is by having a robust drug and alcohol policy in place. DASA can assist with this. Contact us for free policy advice today.


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