Monthly Archives: February 2014

Drug and Alcohol Screening – Victoria

Drug & Alcahol

On 6 February 2014 the Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, announced the intention to

“…require construction companies to implement comprehensive drug and alcohol screening measures to ensure the safety of workers to be eligible to tender for Victorian Government construction contracts.”

The Coalition Government in Victoria will introduce amendments to the Implementation Guidelines to the Victorian Code of Practice for the Building and Construction Industry, and the revised guidelines are expected to be in place by mid-2014.

“Reports of illicit drug use and distribution on Victorian construction sites are widespread,” said Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.

The CFMEU’s Victorian Secretary John Setka has stated that

“There is no epidemic of drug taking on construction sites…. Our Health and Safety representatives who look out for workers’ health and safety are not reporting a problem.”

CFMEU occupational health and safety manager, Gerry Ayers, also said that there is no evidence of accidents on building sites due to rampant drug use

Master Builders Association of Victoria CEO, Radley de Silva, welcomed the announcement and said anyone interested in the safety of construction workers should back the policy.

“Ordinary drivers on our roads are randomly drug tested, so why those working on dangerous construction sites among heavy machinery shouldn’t also be tested?” de Silva said.

“Drug testing has already happened on the Thiess M80 Ring Road project, despite the objections of the CFMEU and is occurring in the civil construction, aviation and transport industries to name only a few.

“The construction industry is not being singled out, it is simply following what is justifiably already the norm in many other high risk industries.” said De Silva.

The on-site screening for drugs and alcohol in the construction Industry has been a hot topic for government, employers and unions in recent years.

In light of the most recent statements by the Victorian Premier the CFMEU secretary and the Master Builders CEO the ‘political football’ surrounding the topic looks set to continue past the revised guideline date of mid 2014.

Posted By: Cathal Uniacke –

Importance of Trust in OHS Consulting


As Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management continues to diversify and evolve it is difficult for OHS consultants/consultancies to constantly remain up to date and current across all industries. I believe it is vitally important for the image of OHS consulting as a whole that when a consultant/consultancy is presented with consulting opportunities that do not fall within their current capabilities that the consultant/consultancy refers the client to a more suited service provider.

This referral has a number of benefits; firstly the client receives a better service with regards to their initial issue, secondly the consultant/consultancy that made the initial contact does not risk damaging their image by working outside of their capabilities and delivering poor service and finally a positive image of consultants/consultancy is maintained or even improved.

Our consultancy recently faced a scenario where a client approached us about the provision of a service outside of our current capabilities. We referred another consultancy within our network whose capabilities matched the client’s needs. This referral resulted in the three benefits listed above. The direct benefit we received was that the OHS consultancy we referred repeated the process and directed a client to us whose needs were within our capabilities. The aforementioned scenario was a win for both clients and consultancy.

Referring clients to other OHS consultancies may not appear too appealing to the consultancy at first, however, with the underlying benefits of doing so apparent, I believe it is important to trust that the referred consultant/consultancy will do the same and create an ongoing win for client and consultancy and reinforce the value of having OHS consultants across all industries.

Posted By: Cathal Uniacke –