Information on Alcohol and Drug Testing in NZ
12 January, 2022
Workplace alcohol and drug testing is a contentious issue in New Zealand. Many people argue that alcohol and drug tests are invasive to the employees’ rights and privacy. However, as more accidents happen because of substance abuse, many employers see it fit to implement an alcohol and drug policy. Alcohol and drug testing in NZ are essential for any risk management program. As a general rule, an effective policy outlines the circumstances in which testing can occur in the workplace. It should indicate the types of tested substances, the means of testing (saliva, urine, etc.), consequences for positive results, and employee support if applicable. The standard test for alcohol detection is through a breathalyser device. BACtrack workplace breathalysers can help provide more regular tests for the workplace. They are easy to use and can provide results within 10 to 15 seconds.
If you are unsure how to establish an alcohol and drug policy for your workplace, the best way is to seek legal advice first. There is also a lot of information available online about alcohol and drug testing in NZ. Under NZ Health and Safety at Work Act (HSW Act), both employers and employees are responsible for keeping the workplace safe and healthy. The HSW Act shifts the focus from monitoring safety incidents to proactively managing workplace hazards. Businesses must protect the workplace by eliminating factors that can endanger the safety of everyone. Additionally, employees must also observe safe and healthy practices by cooperating with the standard operating procedure in the workplace.
Alcohol and Drug Testing in NZ: Workplace Benefits
Nowadays, alcohol and drug testing in NZ are prevalent, especially in high-risk industries. Sectors such as mining, construction, aviation, and healthcare pay close attention to safety. Additionally, a volatile work environment or operating heavy equipment requires high concentration and alertness. An employee under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs exposes the entire workplace to accidents or injuries. Fortunately, you can minimise the risks of alcohol impairments through a BACtrack workplace breathalyser. The BACtrack pro-grade sensors can efficiently measure the blood alcohol content (BAC) through the breath. A manager can request a breathalyser test if a worker shows signs of alcohol intoxication. These employees would typically present with having altered behaviour.
The primary aim of alcohol and drug testing in NZ is to minimise safety risks and promote healthy practices. By identifying alcohol or drug use in the workplace, you can prevent accidents before they happen. Furthermore, an alcohol and drug policy can improve productivity, lower healthcare costs, and boost employee morale. To introduce the alcohol and drug testing program in your workplace, you may also check the regulations specific to your state or city. Finally, the policy must be consistent with the national or local alcohol and drug testing guidelines.