Your choices affect not only your safety, but also the safety and wellbeing of others

The use of any drugs, including alcohol, synthetic drugs and other illicit or non-illicit drugs has the potential to impact on safe work practices, as well as social and cultural issues.

Users may experience altered memory, lack of concentration or impaired coordination which can delay reaction times and increase the risk of accident and injury – not just to themselves, but to their co-workers.

There are several components to maintaining vigilance in the fight against drugs in the workplace. These include maintaining an effective drug and alcohol policy, implementation of testing programs, worker education, awareness of current laws, legislation and the ever changing substance market.

With any substance abuse, safety in the workplace remains the number one priority to ensure all workers are not impaired in the performance of their duties. The key in meeting the challenge of illegal substance use is workplace education on the dangers of all drugs and fostering the development of a zero tolerance approach to anything that places workers health and safety at risk.

The use of illicit drugs amongst coal miners is quite low. CS Health conducted almost 16,000 drug and alcohol tests in the Hunter Valley during 2015, with only 0.21% of all tests returning a positive result for methamphetamines.

Most mining employers have had strict drug and alcohol policies and procedures in place since the 90’s, which prohibit the use of illegal substances. These programs are working to successfully discourage drug use within the NSW coal mining industry.

CS Health has been conducting drug and alcohol screening and education since 1996 and offers urine and oral fluid screening methods. They also provide assistance to updating company drug and alcohol policies on request. Advice regarding synthetic drug screening is also available.

For more information about drug and alcohol screening click here.

For more information about the risks of alcohol or to ‘test yourself’ visit The Right Mix.

For more information about the risks of drugs and where to get help visit the National Drugs Campaign website.