What are the NZ Drug Testing Laws?
10 January, 2022
Private companies who want to test their employees for alcohol and drugs may do so under a systematic approach. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSW Act) in New Zealand, employers must ensure that the workplace is free of factors that can cause harm to the employees. Therefore, even though it is not mandatory, companies implement alcohol and drug testing as part of their management program. These tests can help reduce safety hazards in the workplace. However, there will be significant changes as updated NZ drug testing laws take effect in 2022.
New Zealand is one of the first countries to make drug testing explicitly legal and protect those administering it. The new NZ drug testing laws make workplace testing legal and are easier to perform, which can help improve workplace safety. Workplaces with high safety risks need to check regularly for drugs and alcohol to prevent accidents from happening. A drug test includes obtaining a blood, urine, or saliva sample to determine the presence of illegal substances. Meanwhile, an alcohol test can detect the alcohol in the system through breath samples. A device like the BACtrack workplace breathalyser analyses the breath sample and determines the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The BAC level indicates the degree of intoxication that a person has. A high BAC level could mean high amounts of alcohol consumption.
NZ Drug Testing Laws: Workplace Procedures
The NZ drug testing laws allow employers to administer the test to identify drug usage among employees. It gives employers the certainty to act for the safety and health of their workers. A workplace may implement the following tests according to their needs:
- Pre-employment test – Employers may require pre-employment tests as part of screening. It helps to identify drug users early on to avoid hiring the wrong job candidate. The drug test results determine the final job offer.
- Random drug test – Employers may conduct drug tests randomly to find out employees who work under the influence of drugs.
- Post-Incident test – They would perform this test after a workplace accident. It is to confirm if alcohol or illicit substances are involved in an accident.
Aside from the workplace, the NZ drug testing laws also apply for roadside screening or even music festivals. Law enforcement would pull out suspected drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A roadside screening includes an alcohol breath test through a police breathalyser. You could face criminal charges and penalties if your BAC level is over the legal limit (0.05%). So use a breathalyser to monitor your alcohol level to protect yourself and others on the road or at work. A BACtrack breathalyser is suitable for both personal and workplace usage. These breathalysers feature highly accurate fuel cell sensors. These sensors are the same sensors you could find in a police officer’s breathalyser.