Around two years ago, the Master Builders Association ACT and Frontline Diagnostics started a conversation regarding the disturbingly high incidence of alcohol and other drug use within the building and construction industry (now stands at 20%, or 1 in 5 workers).
It was agreed between the two management bodies that an approach to Government may have some positive response, particularly with the ICE epidemic growing steadily.
MBA ACT and Frontline Diagnostics wished to indicate a leadership response in addressing the growing drug issues.
What wasn’t expected was for the Federal Govt. to take the leadership role and introduce legislation that could herald the start of a new responsible approach to workplace safety.
From this legislation was born a partnership between the MBA ACT and Frontline Diagnostics to ensure that the new world order of Drug-safe building sites can be introduced smoothly and managed for the duration of the projects, all the while making sure all FWBC audit requirements are met comfortably. Without a doubt, all these would allow head contractors and subbies to get on with what they do best: the process of building.
Although Frontline Diagnostics had been working quietly behind the scenes with MBA ACT to develop a joint Drug-Safe programme, the final partnership decision was offered to several contenders to ensure the final fit would meet the expectations of MBA members.
It was found that Frontline Diagnostics exceeded the requirements on all points, including the very important “value for money.” Also ranking highly were such things as NATA accreditation and ISO9001 certification, which are absolutely essential if you are pitching for large Government projects.
Discreet mobile testing clinics, national presence and excellent education and training proved to be the icing on the cake.
At a recent launch meeting held at the MBA ACT training rooms, Frontline Diagnostics Managing Director Michael White pointed out the importance of stopping the problem before it “comes through the gate” by running regular Drug-Safe inductions to new staff, contractors and visitors so that there are no misunderstandings. As White said, “if you can stop it entering your site you’ll dramatically minimise the potential for unfair dismissals, absenteeism, serious injuries, and with the rise in ‘ICE’ , violent behavior. It really comes down to good management of staff on site and the acceptance that even if you have 20% of your workers using drugs, there are 80% who are at risk of injury”.