New HSW Handbook Chapter - Alcohol and drug management in higher risk workplaces

The new HSW Handbook Chapter “Alcohol and drug management in higher risk workplaces” has now been posted on the HSW Website.

This chapter was developed in consultation with the Joint Consultative Committee (Union representatives), Academic Board, the Student Representative Council and feedback from the broader University community was considered and incorporated where it met the intent of the process.

The University has a duty of care to all staff, students, titleholders, contractors, volunteers and visitors to not allow them to injure themselves or others while undertaking higher risk activities due to being unfit due to the presence of drugs or alcohol.

This new process allows Heads of School/Branch to take one or more of the following further actions, commensurate with the severity of the risk and/or repeated nature of the issue, where it is determined that further action is required.

  • Require the individual to leave the higher risk workplace and report back to the Head of School/Branch (or someone acting in the position if they are absent) prior to recommencing any further higher risk work.
  • For staff members, agree a leave of absence to enable them to seek medical or other forms of assistance.
  • Direct the individual to undergo a drug and/or alcohol test and to remove themselves from the workplace until the results are available.
  • Refer the matter to the Area Manager where the Head of School/Branch believes that further action is required.

Where the individual has been directed to undergo a drug and/or alcohol test

Where a Head of School/Branch has agreed, that there is a reasonably held belief that an individual may be unfit due to the presence of drugs or alcohol to undertake higher risk activities, they are permitted under the University’s Drugs and alcohol in higher risk workplaces handbook chapter to direct an individual to undertake a medical examination to determine if the individual is fit to undertake work. 

The University has arranged for a medical contractor to determine such an individual’s fitness for work and certify the individual fit for work using the referral form within the chapter (Appendix A). 

No other medical information beyond what is captured on this form will be provided to the University through this process by the medical practitioner.  

If an individual has been directed by a Head of School/Branch to attend a fitness for duty assessment they must do so immediately.  Failure to do so may be considered failure to comply with a reasonable direction and will be managed as such through the appropriate conduct process.   The cost of the appointment is to be met by the School/Branch requesting the test.

Further information

Should you wish to discuss any of the changes or requirements please do not hesitate to contact your Senior HSW Advisor.

Tagged in HSW, alcohol, Handbook