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Integrity Sampling: An essential service for workplace safety

Drug and alcohol testing forms a crucial part of workplace health and safety.

Integrity Sampling provides an essential service to the infrastructure and construction sectors. Brett Money, Group General Manager, explains the importance of worksite substance testing and how it’s helping to save lives.

Substance testing on construction sites is a constantly evolving service. Developments in technology, regulations and best practice means on-site drug testing can often become over-complicated and confusing for employers.

This confusion is the basis for Integrity Sampling’s foundation by making the process easy to understand. The company provides a variety of workplace drug and alcohol testing services, promoting a proactive health and safety philosophy.

Integrity Sampling Group General Manager, Brett Money, says the company helps to take the guesswork out of drug and alcohol testing for infrastructure providers of all sizes.

“There’s more changes happening in the industry, particularly with government infrastructure programs,” he says. “Whilst the Federal Government abolished mandatory drug testing in The Building Code, some State Governments have mandated that contractors working on government projects, must have a drug and alcohol policy – and at least – a drug and alcohol testing regime.”

Integrity Sampling has expanded its services across a range of industries, including construction, agriculture, aviation, transport, as well as solar and wind farms.

“We’re probably now the largest substance testing company in the southern hemisphere in terms of testing regions, the number of tests and the variety of industries that we serve,” Money says.

“A lot of these sectors contain high risk environments where the safety and awareness of workers are paramount. Whether it be forklift drivers, truck drivers, aviation pilots – anyone that’s either operating machinery, or works in close proximity to moving machinery is at risk.”

Integrity Sampling’s services aim to increase the safety of these environments by ensuring that the awareness and capability of each worker isn’t hindered by the use of alcohol or drugs.

The company’s service effectively aims to eliminate these risks, helping to support the development of safe and productive workplaces.

Integrity Sampling can assist companies that are just beginning their journey towards establishing a drug and alcohol testing policy.
Integrity Sampling can assist companies that are just beginning their journey towards establishing a drug and alcohol testing policy.

Importance of policy 

Education and policy development also form a key part of Integrity Sampling’s service.

“Companies and industries often do themselves a disservice by having inadequate or non-existent policies. Everything that we do is based on the strength of the company’s policy,” Money says.

The introduction of industrial manslaughter legislation has ignited a spark of change, effectively meaning that the liability for the safety and injuries in the workplace falls on the employer.

Which is why, Money says, the development of adequate policy has never been more important.

“The pressure is on for these companies to have something in place. Integrity Sampling provides services in policy design and consultation,” he says.

“We can either review and advise on an existing company policy, or we can provide a template that companies can use to establish a policy from the ground up. These also differ depending on the industry, but the goal is to develop a policy that is fit for purpose.”


 

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Integrated Sampling is constantly updating its services to ensure it can remain at the forefront of policy design. This includes the company’s current exploration of the energy and resources sector. 

Its policies have also become an essential component for businesses within the aged care and pharmaceutical industries, where employees have greater exposure to medications and pharmaceutical products.

Integrity Sampling’s testing also provides no limitations, with the company offering a 24/7, 365 days a year call out service. 

“If there’s an incident in the middle of the night, companies are obligated to do a mandatory alcohol or drug test on site,” Money says. “Our normal response time is within one to two hours. For example, if there’s an accident involving a forklift driver in the middle of the night, they should be obligated under the company policy to complete a test.

“For a transport company, it could be roadside testing and so forth.”

Tackling current issues

Integrity Sampling is currently working to advise companies on the topical use of medical marijuana. 

Money says current legislation and industry testing is leaving much to be desired, in what is a constantly evolving subject.

“The government have been far too slow to react and by the time they start putting in legislation, the damage will already be done,” he says.

“When compared to the United States, in some areas we’re ahead, but when it comes to medical marijuana testing, Australia is behind the eight-ball.”

Money says the conversation around this topic is centred around the preferred testing methods.

“In America, urine testing is predominantly used. Integrity Sampling is considered the industry expert for saliva testing. It’s about understanding the window of detection,” he says.

“Saliva testing will screen for recent use, whereas urine testing will screen for use over time. For screening in the workplace, recent use is the consideration, because it determines whether or not someone has any level of drugs present above the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4760:2019 screening cut-off levels.”

He says the biggest challenge will be the potential relaxation of personnel use.

“Doctors can now have a special license by the TGA to prescribe medical cannabis. The actual prescriber has no real way of determining the levels of THC (the major psychoactive component) in the drugs they’re prescribing, because you’re relying on the manufacturer to be specific on the THC levels to determine the dosage,” Money says.

“We’re doing random workplace testing and people have been screened and returned a positive test, then they’re declaring they’ve got prescriptive cannabis. They should really be declaring that to their employer and in consultation with a medical practitioner.”

Integrity Sampling understands that some employees may fear declarations around the use of substances, such as medical marijuana, which is why the company provides a suite of support and educational services.

These services aim to increase the knowledge and confidence of both employees and employers to maintain a safe and productive workplace, using testing and early detection as preventative safety methods.

“We can provide a range of referral and counselling programs that operate independently. Those are readily accessible for individuals, families or friends who may be concerned with someone’s use of drugs or alcohol,” Money says.

“We want to create a responsible surveillance of the environment, which means we train people to be able to identify and look for certain characteristics of individuals to better tell if they may be under the influence of these substances.”

Integrity Sampling’s work in this area has resulted in them acquiring contracts from both WA roads and VicRoads. Money says more companies are identifying the value in testing services across construction sites of all sizes.

“It’s important to create awareness and make people aware of the potential dangers associated with substance use on site,” he says.

“We emphasise the importance of health and wellbeing in the workplace to make sure that everyone can go home safe.” 

This article was originally published in the October edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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