• Hilary Kearns
    4
    Hi there, has anyone got an opinion/thoughts on this?

    We have a management company with 1 employee, but several trade contractors who come and go, mostly cleaning premises, providing repairs, maintenance, refits to buildings and facilities. As a ball park for numbers, today there might be 20 contractors doing a job for a month, then we would drop down to <5 people who intermittently come to site (not based there all the time). Approx 5 is probably more normal.

    We are working through the process of introducing a prequalification and induction system for these contractors (currently don't have one).

    I'm writing a D&A policy, but it seems a bit overboard to have (many pages) dedicated to D&A testing & screening protocols etc for one employee.

    My questions are:
    Do you think we need the full blown D&A document with the testing types, protocols, etc documents?
    OR
    could we say to contractors that if we believe there is reasonable cause then they will be instructed to leave site/we will suspend work immediately and return back at our discretion. We could add this into their induction signoff.

    IF we need the testing etc protocols - is there a document that we can reference to, and say that this the procedure we would follow - I'm thinking what do small businesses use in this situation?

    My final reality check:
    Q. thinking about what would happen right now if a situation arose?
    A. The contractor would get stood down immediately until such time as the Manager (he's the one employee) is satisfied that it is safe to continue.

    The one employee is a member of the Board and poses very low risk to the business.

    What do you think?
  • Andrew
    321
    My long held position is I am against Drug and Alcohol testing and I still haven't seen anything to sway my view (high risk work areas aside)

    1 employee and 20 contractors. A D&A policy sounds like a job creation programme to me.

    Bottom line is and should always be, in my view, evidence of impairment.
  • Don Ramsay
    41
    WE just have a 1-page policy and refer to the testing regime, and regardless of my personal thoughts the process is here to stay as long as our customers insist on testing being done as part of our contractual obligations I will continue to do it.

    In the process, I have included the methodology of the testing and included the outcomes under each test situation, including the use of equipment post-test.

    You can email me and I can send you what I have,
  • Hilary Kearns
    4

    Thanks for that, I thought as much too
  • Hazardman
    5
    it should be risk based and assessed. What is the risk if someone is under the influence? What controls can you put in place?? Is a policy the right control for your business??
  • CK Rahi
    1
    @Hillary Kearns . As a PCBU there is an obligation for duty of care and Drugs and alcohol are a risk at a workplace especially when majority of your staff are contractors coming to the site.

    At induction if there is a non invasive method of testing that gives peace of mind that someone enetring your site is in a fit state. And you as a PCBU have taken reasonably practicable steps to manage that risk and put effective controls.

    I will be happy to talk to you if required, 021848144.
  • Chrissy Hansen
    15
    No one should be under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the work place, meaning impaired as they could pose a risk to their selves and their work collogues. Cleaners handle chemicals, maintenance and repairs, hand and power tools, heavy lifting, driving vehicles etc. The usual would be random, post incident and pre-employment testing. You can have this requirement written into you contractor Pre-Qual. process. The form of testing is up to the Principle to decide, Urine and Oral Fluid can both be covered in your D&A Policy and then the process when you have a failed test.
  • Don Ramsay
    41
    I think that the most recent event involving a member of the law enforcement community highlights the risk of alcohol impairment in the workplace.
  • Bruce Tollan
    24
    To quote the act:
    Duties of workers
    While at work, a worker must—

    (a) Take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety; and

    (b) Take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons; and

    (c) Comply, as far as the worker is reasonably able, with any reasonable instruction that is given by the PCBU to allow the PCBU to comply with this Act or regulations; and

    (d) Co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the PCBU relating to health or safety at the workplace that has been notified to workers.

    Therefore under section B. A yes/no question like 'Are you impaired by Fatigue, Alcohol or other drugs' would suffice.
    Don't waste your money on testing. It doesn't improve worksite safety. Just look at statistical injury trends over the last 10 years. Mandatory drug testing in many workplaces and we still can't reduce injuries and deaths. Your better to spend time & effort in upskilling supervisors
  • Steve H
    89
    Your better to spend time & effort in upskilling supervisorBruce Tollan
    :up: :up:
    Mandatory drug testing in many workplaces and we still can't reduce injuries and deathsBruce Tollan

    The really sad thing is Bruce, while workplace deaths are fairly static, serious workplace injuries are steadily increasing year on year.
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