As part of our zero tolerance to drugs and alcohol on building sites campaign, the ABCC is currently undertaking fitness for work audits of code covered entities.

The desktop audits assess whether code covered contractors that are required to have an ABCC approved Workplace Relations Management Plan (WRMP) in place are complying with the drug and alcohol testing requirements in their WRMP. These requirements are designed to improve the safety of workers and others involved in the building industry.

If you are a head contractor on a Commonwealth funded building project that is required to have a WRMP, you must:

  • include a fitness for work policy that provides for drug and alcohol testing that addresses how everyone on site (including employees of the head contractor, subcontractors and their employees and others) is required to participate in drug and alcohol testing.
  • test a minimum number of construction and site office workers at least once per month  for the following:
  • alcohol
  • opiates
  • THC
  • cocaine
  • benzodiazepines
  • amphetamines
  • methamphetamines

The specific requirements for fitness for work policies are covered in Schedule 4 of the 2016 Code.

Preliminary findings

Of the drug and alcohol testing audits conducted during the campaign so far the majority of code covered contractors have been assessed as compliant with the Code.  However, alleged breaches have been identified in relation to code covered contractors:

  • failing to test the minimum number of workers per month,
  • failing to test workers at least monthly or
  • failing to test for all of the substances required. 

Contractors with WRMPs are reminded of the Code’s requirement to conduct as a minimum, frequent and periodic testing (at least once per month) of the workforce as follows:

  • Where there are less than 30 workers on the site – at least 10 per cent of the workforce;
  • Where there are 30 to 100 workers on site – a minimum of 5 workers per month; and
  • Where there are greater than 100 workers on site – a minimum of 10 workers per month.

Find out more about your fitness for work responsibilities and WRMPs.