All's fair in drugs at work

OFFICE workers may soon face mandatory drug testing after resources and construction companies have moved to ensure all their staff are treated equally.

Managing director of recruitment marketing company, Employment Office, Tudor Marsden-Huggins, said there was a growing trend toward employers moving to a "one size fits all" approach.

"Many employers are questioning whether it's fair to have one rule for some staff and a different one for others," he said.

"What this means is that everyone from miners and construction workers in high-risk areas right through to secretaries and finance staff in generally safer roles at some organisations may have to undergo random drug testing.

"Whilst drug testing in high-risk roles is accepted as necessary for health and safety reasons, I expect some office workers may question if it is justified for their particular position such as those working behind a computer all day."

Lismore City Council manager of corporate services Simon Adcock said the council random drug testing policy applied to all staff, both in the offices and in the field.

"An office worker behind a computer all day could be tested," he said.

Mr Adcock said the council's drug testing policy also extended to recruitment.

"The preferred candidate will be sent for a medical to ensure they are fit for work. Part of that is a drug test."

Mr Adcock said he could not disclose how frequent random drug tests occurred or whether any council staff had tested positive for drugs.

Mills Transport Lismore manager Reg Mills said the transport company had a random drug testing policy but it did not extend to office staff.

He said truck drivers underwent periodic random drug testing.

"Drivers are tested randomly and when there is a suspicion of something," he said.

Mr Mills said in the past 10 years no Mills Transport drivers had tested positive to drugs.



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