Australian drug testing laws

Workplace Drug Testing Australia; drug testing laws.

In the Australian workplace these days it’s very important to have a good understanding of Australian drug testing laws.

Drug testing employees shouldn’t be seen as a punishment or a mistrusting measure, but a way in which to care for your employees’ welfare, and the people around them. Most employees do the right thing and want the rest to do the same. Companies have a duty of care to make sure their workplace is safe for all employees. For this reason, you can legally conduct drug testing in Australia in your business.

Employees should be told about your policies and procedures before a drug testing programme is introduced. You can choose what frequency people are tested (randomly), or for cause (incident). Keeping your employees in the loop about carrying out drug testing will always be the best way to go.

Mandatory drug testing

There are certain industries where drug and alcohol testing is mandatory. These industries include,

  • Mining
  • Aviation
  • Truck driving (road testing)
  • Construction sites (publicly funded projects)


It is a well-known fact that mining employees are subject to regular drug and alcohol testing. Every time an employee enters a work site, they are subject to an alcohol screen, and randomly subject to a drug test. Such big companies cannot afford to have such company destroying PR, so they really have to do all they can to reduce accidents.


In aviation, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), have a programme called a Drug and Alcohol Management Plan (DAMP). All organisations within the aviation industry must abide by these strict rules. It is pretty much an outlined written statement about how they will deal with Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).

Truck driving

We think the truck driving industry will go down the same path as construction, as there has recently been an explosion of truck drivers testing positive to drugs on Australian roads.


The construction sector over the past few years in Australia has begun to ramp up their drug testing. The Australian government has made it mandatory for random drug testing on publicly funded projects. Cleaning up the construction industry is their vision as the industry had a bad name for this reason.

So, in conclusion, the most important thing to know about Australian drug testing laws, is that it is legal to have a drug and alcohol policy in your workplace. And the absolute most important thing to remember is to educate your employees about the policy.