Pre-employment/engagement testing

1.11.  All applicants may be required to undergo a drug and alcohol screening test before being employed or engaged. The initial cost of this is to be covered by the applicant. Upon the Company receiving a successful / negative drug and alcohol result the cost shall be reimbursed. If an applicant fails the test, he/she will not be reimbursed the cost of the drug and alcohol test and may not be considered for appointment or, if the applicant has already been appointed, the employment/engagement may be cancelled or terminated.

 

Testing during employment/engagement

1.12. During employment or engagement, the Company may require an Employee/Contractor to undergo a drug and alcohol test, to monitor compliance with this Policy. The Company may require an Employee/Contractor to undergo drug and alcohol testing on any of the following occasions:

 

a. If the Company suspects, on reasonable grounds, that an Employee/Contractor is working under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reasonable grounds for testing can be established if an Employee or Contractor’s behaviour, actions or conduct (whether observed by or reported to the Company) suggest that the Employee/Contractor is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Further information about reasonable cause indicators is provided at Schedule A.

b.  Due to the potentially dangerous nature of many aspects of the Company’s work, random testing may be conducted for anyone employed or engaged in a safety-sensitive position. The term “safety sensitive position” refers to any area or role that contains any hazard or where there is the potential for an accident or incident to cause injury, harm, serious harm, or damage to property, plant or equipment. Safety sensitive positions include, but are not limited to, those set out at Schedule C of this Policy.

 

Please note that random test selection means that some Employees or Contractors may not be picked to be tested at all, some Employees or Contractors may be tested once, and other Employees or Contractors may be tested more than once. The selection process for random testing will be completed by an independent authorised service provider.

c. If there is an incident, accident, near miss or plant, product or property damage involving an actual or potential compromise of health and safety standards and an Employee/Contractor’s actions, or lack of action, may have been a direct or indirect contributory factor.

d. If the Company’s clients or customers, or prospective clients or customers, request that an Employee/Contractor submit to drug and alcohol testing.

 

Testing

1.13.  Drug and alcohol testing will be performed at the Company’s expense by The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA), or an equivalent provider, or by its nominated registered medical practitioner. Testing will be done in such a way as to respect the Employee/Contractor’s privacy and confidentiality.  Test results will be treated as highly confidential.

1.14.  The Company in its absolute discretion will determine the appropriate testing method and threshold for detectable and/or positive results at the time.

 

Drug Testing Procedure

1.15.  If the Company elects to use urine testing, the testing processes will comply with the AS/NZS 4308:2008 (or successor Standards) and the following will apply (subject to any changes to the applicable Standard). The Standard requires the agency that is responsible for specimen collection/on-site screening, storage and dispatch of the urine specimen to have accreditation (granted following assessment by a recognised body).

 

  • The Employee/Contractor will remain in the presence of the Collector and will not have access to any water fountain, tap, soap dispenser, cleaning agent or any other materials that might be used to compromise the integrity of the urine specimen.
  • The Employee/Contractor provides the specimen in an area such that privacy is maintained.
  • No device should be placed into the original collected urine sample unless it can be shown that the device does not contaminate the specimen.
  • A positive test will only be reported by an AS/NZS 4308 (or successor Standards) accredited laboratory if confirmed levels of drug or metabolite exceed designated cut-off levels.  Cut-off levels will conform to the relevant Australian Standard, where such a standard has been issued in relation to the drug concerned.
  • If the Employee/Contractor disagrees with an initial positive test result then they have the option of having the referee specimen independently retested at another AS/NZS 4308 (or successor Standard) accredited laboratory.
  • The cost of the second test will be met by the Employee/Contractor but if the result is negative the Company will refund any costs incurred by the Employee/Contractor.

Due to possible degradation of samples over time, re-testing need only detect the presence of the drug or metabolite.  For the second test to be positive there need only be the presence of drug or metabolite detected (i.e. need not be above cut off limits).  This will be accepted as a conclusive result.

  • Specimens not submitted to the laboratory shall be disposed of in accordance with waste disposal requirements and appropriate legislation.

 

Alcohol Testing Procedure

1.16.  The breath alcohol test will be conducted using an approved testing device which meets the Australian Standard: AS 3547-1997 “Breath Alcohol Testing Devices for Personal Use” (or successor Standard). This requires the Worker to blow into the device using a disposable mouthpiece.

1.17.  Where an Employee/Contractor is required to use any vehicle or mechanical equipment during work hours, the following applies:

 

  • Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) – is the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream expressed in grams of alcohol per 100ml of blood.

 

  • If the first initial reading records any level of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) the result is deemed to be “detectable”.

 

  • Following a “detectable” test, a confirmatory test on the same device is performed after 15 minutes using a new mouthpiece.

 

  • If the confirmatory test result records any level of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the test is deemed to be a positive breath alcohol test and the individual removed to a safe place.

 

  • If the Company elects to use breath alcohol testing, the testing will be conducted using an approved testing device which meets the Australian Standard: AS 3547-1997 “Breath Alcohol Testing Devices for Personal Use” (or successor Standard).

1.18.  In all other circumstances, the following applies:

 

If the Candidate holds a Provisional Drivers’ License

 

  • If the first initial reading records any level of BAC the result is deemed to be “detectable”.

 

  • Following a “detectable” test, a confirmatory test on the same device is performed after 15 minutes using a new mouthpiece.

 

  • If the confirmatory test result records any level of BAC), the test is deemed to be a positive breath alcohol test and the individual removed to a safe place.

 

If the Candidate holds an Open Drivers’ License

 

  • If the first initial reading records any level of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) the result is deemed to be “detectable”.

 

  • Following a “detectable” test, a confirmatory test on the same device is performed after 15 minutes using a new mouthpiece.

 

  • If the confirmatory test result records Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) less than 0.05 the result is deemed negative and the individual may be permitted to return to full duties.

 

  • If the confirmatory test result records a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above 0.05, the test is deemed to be a positive breath alcohol test and the individual removed to a safe place.

 

For license categories other than provisional and open driver’s license, the relevant BAC will be in accordance with the relevant state drink driving levels as per state legislation.

 

These levels applies to Company sanctioned social events or work-related functions and events including client entertainment as referred to at paragraph 1.3.

 

Cheating on a drug and/or alcohol test

1.19.  If an Employee/Contractor “cheats” on a drug and/or alcohol test or attempts to compromise the integrity of a specimen when taking a drug test (for example by providing a specimen that is not his or her own, or by use of a masking agent), or the person conducting the testing has reasonable grounds to suspect that the Employee/Contractor has tampered with a specimen, then the Company may take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice) or, in the case of a Contractor, termination of his/her engagement.

1.20.  If the Employee provides a specimen that is “cool” (not within acceptable temperature testing range meaning that the Company cannot verify it was provided by the Employee/Contractor), or the specimen is otherwise compromised, this will be treated as a failed test (i.e. positive) and the Company may take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice) or, in the case of a Contractor, termination of his/her engagement. At the Company’s discretion, the Employee/Contractor may be provided with one further opportunity to provide a specimen.

 

Dilution of a drug test

1.21.  If an Employee/Contractor provides a specimen that is “dilute” the Employee/Contractor will be given one further opportunity to provide a specimen within 24 hours that is not “dilute”. This may mean the Employee/Contractor may have to reduce his/her fluid intake during this period. If the second specimen is also ”dilute” this will be treated as a failed test (i.e. positive)  and the Company may take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice) or, in the case of a Contractor, termination of his/her engagement.

 

Refusal to take a drug and/or alcohol test

1.22.  If an Employee/Contractor is required to take a drug and/or alcohol test, and refuses to do so, the Employee/Contractor should first explain the refusal. The Company will consider any explanation given.  In its sole discretion, if the Company considers the explanation is unreasonable in the circumstances, then the Company may take disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice) or, in the case of a Contractor, termination of his/her engagement.

1.23.  The Employee/Contractor shall provide his/her specimen for drug testing within 1 hour from the time that the request has been made by the authorised collector. In relation to alcohol testing, the Employee/Contractor shall comply with a request for an alcohol test within 15 minutes from the time the request has been made by the authorised collector.

 

Failure to comply with such timeframes may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal (with or without notice) or, in the case of a Contractor, termination of his/her engagement.