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Author Topic: Australia: Workplace drug testing spreads to white collar workers  (Read 11299 times)

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http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-drug-testing-spreads-to-white-collar-workers-as-80m-industry-grows-20150720-gig71y.html

Workplace drug testing spreads to white collar workers as $80m industry grows

Workplace drug testing is on the rise for white-collar and grey-collar workers.

Sales representatives driving company vehicles are at the frontline of the next wave of workplace drug testing, as the $80 million industry accelerates its growth by about 20 per cent annually.

Testing of mine site workers has been one of the mainstays of the drug testing industry along with the transport and logistics sectors but industry experts are noticing increasing demand from the white-collar sector, with part of the impetus coming from companies pre-empting any problems. Problems that may been uncovered by the rising incidence of random drug testing of drivers being carried out by police around Australia.

Safe Work Laboratories, which began in Perth in 2012 and is preparing to open an office in Sydney next year to complete a national footprint, is experiencing strong demand from across industries, while Frontline Diagnostics – the largest privately-owned firm in Australia with a workforce of 80 around the nation – says work from the non-mining sectors is on the increase.

Michael White, the managing director of Frontline Diagnostics, said on Monday that the mining downturn has crimped demand in that industry but that has been offset by other areas.

"There's a big call for [staff drug testing], partly because of rising methamphetamine use in the community," Mr White said.

He said the major community concerns over the drug more commonly known as "ice" had led more employers to implement workplace drug testing procedures, and they were commonplace as part of the pre-employment process.

In April, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a taskforce to try to confront the "ice" problem. The Australian Industry Group has also raised the alarm over rising "ice" use in the workplace this year.

Mr White said generally when the company undertook a broad-ranging workplace drug testing program it found that 12 to 15 per cent of employees returned positive samples of various forms of drugs.

Boardroom drugs found

Mr White declined to divulge the specifics but said on one occasion Frontline Diagnostics had conducted swabs in a boardroom of a company and was surprised to find traces of a range of different substances. "We were shocked," he said.

Safe Work Laboratories national marketing director Andrew Liebie said on Monday there was a gradual shift toward more "grey-collar and "white-collar" industries, and the broader workplace drug testing market was growing at between 15 to 20 per cent.

He says companies with sales representatives on the road in vehicles with corporate logos on the side of vehicles were getting on the front foot because of the risks associated with an employee being found with levels of drugs in their system in roadside drug testing.

But Australia still had a long way to go to catch up with the United States, where studies showed an estimated 70 per cent of the working population had drug tests.

The US percentage was at just 10 per cent in the mid-1980s but has gained steady traction because of legislative changes and shifts in the corporate mindset. Now financial services and stockbroking firms conduct "pre-promotion" tests of bright junior staff and retailer Walmart conducts drug screening of all employees.

Mr Liebie estimated that about 15 per cent of Australian employees were subject to workplace drug testing now, compared with 5 per cent a decade ago.

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Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Australia: Workplace drug testing spreads to white collar workers
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2015, 11:33:31 PM »
(tongue in cheek) ... anybody tested that isn't using Methamphetamine will be sacked for poor output ... yes, in my twisted dreams  :P ::) :)
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Re: Australia: Workplace drug testing spreads to white collar workers
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 03:06:34 AM »
God Damn! the police down there are randomly testing drivers for drugs? (from the first paragraph or so of the article).

That will prove to be a very expensive practice indeed, as legal challenges are bound to occur. Although you don't have the same basic "freedoms" as we do here in the US.
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."
"You can observe a lot just by watching."
- Yogi Berra

"Drugs are so fucking good....that they'll ruin your life."
- Louis C.K.

Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Australia: Workplace drug testing spreads to white collar workers
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 04:01:15 AM »
we are very controlled. we have curfews. we have lockouts. Why all this regimentation ?

it's all due to excess alcohol consumption that ultimately leads to wanton violence.

did you know ? > the drugs that attract the highest penalties for trade are ... wait for it ... steroids.

if it's violent or beligerent, you'll be nabbed if you go public.

yeah, much has changed and we are over-goverened but it's for our own good. i have to say that all these controls actually keep the streets relatively trouble free - both in and out of the car.
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