According to leading workplace drug and alcohol tester Andatech, substance use and abuse still play a significant role in work-related injuries and fatalities.
According to the company’s Business Development Manager Jaka Exstrada, "Australian businesses are losing an estimated $6 billion annually due to substance-use-related productivity issues and 7.5% of hospital morbidity is related to alcohol consumption in the workplace.
"This abuse also contributes to adverse productivity outcomes such as absenteeism, lateness, a decrease in attention span, poor coordination, difficulty in comprehension and slower reaction time."
However, most employers cannot justify having an in-house drug and alcohol testing regime, and so many are now turning to third-party testing, which is becoming more readily available.
"Organisations may not realise that on-site drug testing services, either urine or oral, can be set up for as little as one person per year,” says Exstrada. “In addition, they can also opt for education and awareness presentations and inductions, and policy and procedure development.
"Third party testing is ideal for smaller businesses who want to comply with workplace health and safety but would prefer a professional with experience in testing to undertake the tests.
"The testing service can also deal with awkward situations and it doesn’t hinder relationships between employees," he adds.
Exstrada points to one Melbourne manufacturer that commenced testing earlier this year that has seen the incidence of positive readings halved from an average of 6% to 3%. The improvement is expected to continue as staff realise they can't get away with it.
The purpose of this company's testing regime is to prevent staff from arriving at work still under the influence of drugs or alcohol as they are putting themselves and others at risk from injury or worse.
For companies who want to manage their own testing regime, Andatech offers urine and oral DrugSense kits that test for nine different drug types. The company also has the widest range of Australian Standard-certified breathalysers in Australia, including AlcoSense workplace breathalysers.
However, many small enterprises are now turning to third party on-site drug and alcohol services from Andatech that uses a NATA accredited lab, certified collectors/testers and offers 24/7 on-site testing in all major cities in Australia, which is crucial when emergency and post-incident testing is required quickly.
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