Introduction of drug and alcohol testing

Rockhampton Regional Council will soon introduce drug and alcohol testing for both employees and councillors.

The program, recently adopted by Council and currently going out to tender, is anticipated to begin in January 2014.

Rockhampton Regional Council CEO, Evan Pardon, said the new procedure would ensure Council remains a safe working environment for all employees, contractors and councillors.

“Drug and alcohol testing has been occurring in some industries for some time now – we wanted to ensure this important procedure provides another safety check for our employees so they return home from work in the same manner they arrived.

“We already have testing in place for employees and contractors based at the Rockhampton Airport, and organisation-wide testing will ensure safety is top of mind for all employees regardless of whether they operate plant or machinery or work in the office.

“In mid-August, Council also adopted drug testing for all councillors. This will ensure councillors have the same obligations and are accountable for their actions just as employees will be.”

Mr Pardon said the program wasn’t solely testing, but included a number of elements that would provide further assistance to employees.

“The testing program will also include both general drug and alcohol awareness training sessions, along with support services for all employees, contractors
and councillors.

“Drug and alcohol testing within the workplace is not only beneficial while at work, but can also play an important role in our employees’ lives outside
of work.”

The procedure was developed after a comprehensive consultation process involving staff and unions, and is considered a best-practice initiative.

The types of drugs that will be screened include alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine and opiates and will be carried out in accordance with Australian standards.