As nationwide drug testing begins in construction sites, a report by Ryan Keen for the Gold Coast Bulletin reveals that one in five construction workers on the Gold Coast are testing positive for drugs.
Positive tests for Ice and cocaine increasing
The figure comes from the results of the workplace drug testing conducted by Frontline Diagnostics in Gold Coast construction sites. Michael White, Frontline Diagnostics chief executive officer, confirmed that the tests were done as recently as recently as two weeks ago.
While he did not identify the Gold Coast sites where the tests were conducted, he revealed that between 15 to 20 per cent of workers were failing the tests. He also added that a growing number of workers are testing positive for harder drugs like ice and cocaine.
“On the Gold Coast we found a lot of ice and a lot of cocaine — and a hell of a lot of marijuana. A couple of years ago it used to be that 90 per cent of positive tests were for marijuana but that is about 75 per cent now because cocaine, amphetamines, ice are on the rise (on the Coast)”, Keen quotes CEO White as saying.
The drug tests come as the city is abuzz with construction activity in preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. To ensure the safety of the workers and the integrity of their construction work, tradies working on major Games projects can expect to be tested for drugs in the coming weeks.
The drug tests are in keeping with Building Code amendments introduced last year. The new rules, which came into effect in February, require random drug testing on construction projects where half the funds, or more than $10 million, were provided by taxpayers.
Read the full story here.
You can also watch Frontline Diagnostics CEO White talk about this issue in this video courtesy of NBN News.
Building Code changes proven timely
If there were any doubts or questions about the changes made to the Building Code, they should all have gone by now. Frontline Diagnostics’ workplace drug testing efforts are proving that there is, indeed, a drug problem in the construction sector. Not that it was very surprising, since CEO White says the Gold Coast figures were consistent with Frontline’s national average for positive tests on construction and building sites.
The Building Code changes couldn’t have come at a better time. And with the efforts of companies like Frontline Diagnostics, we can now hope that the drug problem in the construction industry will finally be definitively addressed.