March - April 2016 Industry Update

Drug and Alcohol testing requirements under the Building Code 2013

FWBC recently received information that young workers including apprentices and second and third year tradespeople are being encouraged to take ice and methamphetamines on a private building project.

While FWBC notified the relevant law enforcement and workplace health and safety agencies, this also serves as a reminder to all contractors’ of their responsibilities regarding drug and alcohol testing under the Australian Building Code 2013.

Contractors covered by the Building Code 2013 have responsilbities for both Commonwealth funded sites and private sites if they want to remain compliant with the code.

On private sites, contractors are required to have a work health safety and rehabilitation system that shows the way in which drug and alcohol issues in the workplace will be managed to help ensure that no person attending site to perform building work does so under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

For sites that meet the threshold for Commonwealth funding, mandatory random drug and alcohol testing is required at least monthly.  The Building Code 2013 requires particular substances to be tested for, including methamphetamines and ice. Minimum requirements are set out in Schedule 3 of the Building Code 2013. Further information is available here.

Contractors are audited by FWBC Investigators in relation to their compliance with the Building Code 2013, including their management of drugs and alcohol issues.

FWBC began this auditing process in February 2016 as the final stage of its three phase implementation of the new drug and alcohol requirements under the Building Code 2013.

Contractors, workers and others who are aware of building sites with drug and alcohol issues are strongly encouraged to report these issues to FWBC, as well as other relevant authorities.  

For more information, or to discuss these issues with FWBC, contact the hotline on 1800 003 338. You may remain anonymous if you wish.

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