• Peter Bateman
    The Forum has a poll feature which has not yet been used, so let's have a go and see how it works. Fingers crossed!

    In Australia, it now looks more than likely that some kind of industrial manslaughter legislation will be enacted in all jurisdictions, most likely as a piece of legislation quite distinct from health & safety statutes.

    Meanwhile, in NZ, a referendum at the 2020 election may result in marijuana being decriminalised.
    1. Should NZ introduce legislation to establish a new crime of industrial manslaughter? (62 votes)
        Not sure
    2. If marijuana was decriminalised, would it affect your organisation's drug and alcohol policy? (62 votes)
        Not sure
  • Chris Anderson
    For those voting Yes for If marijuana was decriminalised, would it affect your organisation's drug and alcohol policy? would any of you like to give reasons why?
  • Andrew
    I voted "no" for industrial manslaughter. We had the opportunity when the HSW bill was drafted. But missed it. Instead we now have a term of imprisonment of up to five years for an individual who acts recklessly. So we pretty well have the issue covered.

    I voted "no" for drug policy. I remain of the view that "impairment" is the gold standard and testing is broadly nothing but an intrusive busy body nosying into a persons private life. We will retain our policy that if any one is caught selling drugs or alcohol they risk being fired.
  • Drew Rae
    I voted "no" for industrial manslaughter. To the extent such policies have an effect, they divert attention away from safety and towards protection against prosecution.
  • HSQE
    I voted "no" for drug policy also as it currently speaks specifically about "Illegal" substances and once marijuana is decriminalised it won't apply. Any "off duty" use will be handled the same as alcohol - as long as it doesn't adversely affect a worker’s job performance or jeopardises the safety of themselves, other workers, our plant and equipment, or where such usage adversely affects the public trust and the ability of our company to carry out its responsibilities.
  • Chris Anderson
    That suggests there is a current gap in your policy if it doesn't cover impairment from legal substances like painkillers or prescribed medication.
  • HSQE
    Thanks Chris for your comment. The D&A Policy does actually address that further along so we're covered there too.
  • Campbell Hardy
    A yes for both... With respect to marijuana we would have to better align with the likes of alcohol and the manslaughter idea I like in principal. However how it's applied would be my only concern!
  • Peter Bateman
    The poll has been open a week and 50 people took part - thanks to all of you!
    Support for industrial manslaughter is evenly split. Personally, I'm not yet persuaded a new law is necessary, for the reason suggested by @Drew Rae, and also because the HSW Act already contains ample provision for imprisonment. The courts so far have been reluctant to go anywhere near the maximum penalty provisions, but presumably Parliament put them there for a reason.

    On marijuana, I can't see why its decriminalisation (should it ever happen) would have any effect on drug and alcohol policies. Alcohol is an extremely potent legal drug, and marijuana is a less potent illegal drug. Both are widely tested for already. Therefore what difference does it make if the item being tested for is legal or illegal? (Unless, of course, companies aren't really testing for impairment/safety, but for another agenda altogether.)
  • Brian Parker
    Hi All,
    I voted 'NO' to the legalisation affecting our D&A Policy because we will not change it even if the legislation passes into Law. However, the legalisation of marijuana will almost certainly have some effect on our ability to implement the Policy. I have no idea how the legal system would deal with a challenge to a disciplinary action taken under the Policy when it comes to the argument about +ve test result versus 'level of Impairment'. We will all have to look very closely to the wording of our policies so we don't leave a legal loophole for the lawyers to exploit.
  • Chris Hyndman
    The first point to be clear on is that decriminalisation is not legalising. The only changes that would occur are to the criminal status of offenders.

    Your current approach on illegal drugs would still cover marijuana and its use.
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