Construction Workers Face Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing

Part of the Victorian government’s crackdown on the construction industry includes the mandatory drug and alcohol testing of construction workers involved in government funded projects.

While the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the industry’s leading union has condemned the announcement, the government has cited widespread drug and alcohol use on construction sites as its motivation, claiming that they are trying to improve safety on building sites, which they say is being compromised by drunk and drugged workers.

According to a report by the Herald Sun, construction workers involved in work on all new government funded projects will have to face random drug and alcohol testing.

Any company wishing to bid on government funded projects will now have to first commit to implementing appropriate security measures including having a comprehensive strategy in place for the random drug and alcohol testing of workers.

The Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said in an interview with the Herald Sun that the move was aimed at boosting safety in workplaces. He said there have been reports of drug and alcohol taking on construction sites and the government was targeting this dangerous behaviour which he said is a serious risk to the safety of their innocent co-workers.

The following excerpt from a post on SafetyCulture.com.au explains further:

 “Reports of illicit drug use and distribution on Victorian construction sites are widespread,” said Dr Napthine in an exclusive interview with the Herald Sun.

“The presence of intoxicated and drug-affected workers on building sites presents a real and serious risk to the safety of hard-working Victorians.”

Dr Napthine said that companies must have “comprehensive drug and alcohol screening measures” before they can be eligible for Victorian Government construction biddings.

“The Coalition Government takes workplace safety seriously, which is why we are moving to complement the already good work of the Victorian WorkCover Authority,” said Dr Napthine.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/

Apparently the changes to construction guidelines will be prepared by the Industrial Relations Minister, Robert Clark who will head the team.

Companies who plan on bidding for government contracts will have to start introducing the mandatory testing by as soon as the middle of this year and will have to show that they have a comprehensive plan for doing so in place.

The CFMEU has been openly critical of the announcement which they say is unnecessary because there isn’t any widespread use of alcohol or drugs on construction sites. The government however doesn’t see why the new measure would be met with apprehension when it is already the case on many privately funded construction sites. The government claims they are simply trying to improve the safety of workers on construction sites.

 

 

Posted by Construction Safety News Admin
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