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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
COMPANY PROFILE But it's a delicate issue and although implementing drug and alcohol tests in a workforce may solve some problems, there is the danger it may create others. 'It's a new risk in the workplace that wasn't there as significantly 10 years ago,' says Australian Human Resources Institute. They say the increase in drug and alcohol testing in the workplace is largely a reaction to the rising level of substance abuse in the community at large. 'The incidence is extensive and you ignore it at your peril.' The damage that drugs and alcohol do in the workplace is real and the risks are major, not just to productivity and the bottom line, but also to human life. A Monash University study has estimated that drug and alcohol use costs the Australian economy at least $13.7 billion directly and indirectly. And the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says substance abuse is estimated to be a factor in 25 per cent of workplace accidents and 10 per cent of workplace deaths. 'It's a very, very big problem. It's just not spoken about much,' says Labourforce International managing director Regan Brown. Labourforce provides personnel for manufacturing, mining, logistics and warehousing companies, and claims to be the only recruitment company in Australia to conduct in-house drug and alcohol tests as part of its job application process. Brown says 25 per cent of people who apply for jobs with Labourforce do not pass the drug and alcohol tests. He says the most common drug found in applicants' systems is marijuana, accounting for 78 per cent of the failures nationwide, followed by amphetamines at 30 per cent and opiates at four per cent. It is, however, very important that companies have fair processes in place to handle the issues surrounding positive test results in permanent personnel. From a human resource point of view it can be a legal minefield. This is the very reason Labourforce International carries out drug testing on all their casual staff prior to sending them out on assignments with their clients. If a company has gone to the extent of drug testing all their own permanent staff, they do not want to introduce untested casuals to their work environment. The use of recreational drugs and/or binge drinking can: • Place people's lives at risk • Damage expensive machinery • Cause a worker to be unreliable • Trigger violent and unprovoked attacks on others • Impede a person's work performance. In order to increase the productivity of casual employees and as such reduce our clients' expenditure on casual staffing, Labourforce International has taken their screening process a step further and is now carrying out pre-employment medicals on all casual employees to further limit exposure to avoidable workers compensation claims. The pre-employment medical is administered by a qualified occupational nurse (one in every state employed by Labourforce International) who observes candidates performing physical actions including stretching, twisting, bending, lifting and walking up and down stairs. The occupational nurse also clarifies all responses given by the candidate in the work history medical questionnaire, especially in cases where there are inconsistencies with responses and physical actions. Corrective training is also given by the occupational nurse. If the above has caught your interest, why not give us a call to inquire about the services of Labourforce International and how we can assist you: 133230 email@example.com www.labourforce.com.au Testing employees for drug and alcohol use can be tricky, but 35 per cent of applicants to one company failed their test Drug and alcohol testing is becoming increasingly common in the workplace, with many companies in industries such as mining, logistics and manufacturing routinely testing their employees for substance abuse. TESTING TIMES: Labourforce International managing director Regan Brown with the DrugCheck test kit. 73 FUTURE FREIGHT NETWORKS 2012