The decision to enforce in phases the drug and alcohol fitness for work amendments–specifically the compulsory drug tests–for the building and construction industry under the Building Code 2013 has been welcomed by Master Builders Australia, a major Australian building and construction industry association.
Drug tests “a win” for safety on building sites
According to MBA CEO Wilhelm Harnisch, “The inclusion of compulsory drug and alcohol testing policies is a win for safety on building sites and the three stage implementation approach outlines by Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) will help maximise compliance by all contractors.”
The amendments to the Building Code 2013 requires contractors to impose mandatory alcohol and drug testing on Commonwealth funded projects. These amendments have taken effect on October 16, 2015, but FWBC, which is tasked with monitoring compliance, has decided to not commence audits until February 2016 to give contractors enough time to comply with the amended Building Code.
The first of FWBC’s three stage approach to auditing the alcohol and drug testing requirements involves educating the industry about the implications of the policy, from its impact on workplace safety and the promotion of a healthy workplace culture as well. For the second stage, FWBC will perform audits that will provide contractors feedback on their compliance as well as assist them with voluntary rectification to become fully compliant with the requirements.
Now that the construction industry is required to take drug testing efforts seriously, we can now hope that cases of drug abuse in the industry and the workplace problems associated with it will be reduced in the coming months.
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