Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) will be giving employers in the construction industry up to February next year to comply with the amendments to the Building Code with regards to drug and alcohol requirements, says a report from OHSAlert.
Drug testing at work at least once a month
The new drug and alcohol requirements call for random drug testing at least once a month among workers in Commonwealth-funded construction projects.
According to FWBC, they will audit the new requirements using a three-stage approach. The first step involves “assisting industry through education, providing information and helping contractors to understand the implications of the policy”. Audits and providing feedback to the concerned companies will follow suit, all to help them comply with the new drug and alcohol rules.
For companies that fail to comply after the February 2016 deadline, FWBC said it will initiate the usual enforcement processes to get them to achieve compliance.
The decision to extend the deadline to implement drug testing in the workplace is laudable, because it’s only been weeks since the new drug and alcohol rules were enforced, and most employers in the construction industry are understandably going to need time to make the necessary adjustments. Some may even have to create a new alcohol and drugs policy from the ground up.
Even more commendable is the resolve of FWBC to enforce drug testing at work. Although February 2016 is still months away, we can now say that workplaces in the construction industry are likely to become healthier and safer, and that’s what really matters.