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Fair Work Commission Backflips on Drug and Alcohol Urine Testing

urine testingThe Fair Work Commission (FWC) has said a decision made earlier this year, to limit the use of urine testing for drugs and alcohol in the workplace, was a “significant error”.

On Friday the Fair Work Commission found that, “Employers have, as they must always have, capacity to determine the form of testing (urine, oral or a mix of both) that will best manage safety risks in their individual workplaces.”

The FWC clarified their position in the full bench appeal for DP World Brisbane and Others vs Maritime Union of Australia.

They also stated that, “Deputy President Anna Booth fell into ‘significant error’ in her earlier decision trying to limit the use of urine testing on the basis that it is ‘unjust and unreasonable’.”

The AMMA welcomed the decision saying it was significant for all mining, construction and other resource related workplaces.

“Resource industry employers take an uncompromising, professional and rigorous approach to managing occupational health and safety risks in their workplaces,” AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said in a statement.

“Workplace safety relies on vigilance and clarity on the duties and obligations of both employers and employees. Today’s decision is a positive development for safer workplaces throughout Australia.

“Mining, oil and gas employers have long been at the very forefront of managing health and safety risks, and reducing fatalities and injuries globally. Countless safe work initiatives benefiting millions of people have been developed through our industry.

“The industry is very proud of what employers and employees do every day to make our workplaces safer and makes no apologies for not compromising on taking the best possible approaches to potential safety risks.”

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