By John Matthews & Olivia Doonan
Recent amendments to the Building Code 2013 (Building Code) require the implementation of drug and alcohol testing policies on construction sites. The new amendments take effect on 16 October 2015. All building industry participants involved in Commonwealth funded building work must ensure that a zero tolerance for drugs and alcohol is enforced.
Fitness for work policies and testing is required where the value of the Commonwealth’s contribution is $5,000,000 or more and represents at least 50% of the total construction project value or alternatively, where the Commonwealth’s contribution is $10,000,000 or over.
The fitness for work policy must address:
• the objective method to detect the presence of drugs or alcohol;
• compliance and enforcement of the policy;
• the procedures in place for selecting personnel for testing;
• procedures after the return of a positive result; and
• counselling and assistance for personnel affected by drugs and alcohol.
Although these amendments only apply to certain Government funded projects, the policies should be considered best practice for all construction projects to achieve a safer workplace.
Mills Oakley can provide draft policies and guidance to comply with these requirements.