The Fitness for Duty changes as supported by Safe Work Australia and the National Mine Safety Framework, will necessitate consent from the majority of the workforce prior to introducing urine testing for drugs.
Currently, urine testing for drugs is allowed at the discretion of the employer.
Industry group, the Australian Metals and Mining Association, is concerned that mining safety throughout the country will be jeopardized if the changes are passed.Andrew Vickary, from the CFMEU, believes the move is a didactic one for employers.Vicary asserted that getting very inebriated on a Friday evening would not affect Monday’s productivity if the employee was sober on the Monday. Furthermore, it would not be a safety risk.
He expanded by stating that an employee would not be a safety risk if they smoked marijuana weeks earlier on a long service leave, since the substance would not be present enough in the system as to warrant impairment.
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