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Drug and alcohol conviction a reminder for all workers

Jul 13, 2012News

A rail safety worker has been convicted and fined for refusing to provide a urine sample, in a stark reminder to all workers of their responsibilities when it comes to drug and alcohol testing.

The Port Kembla safety worker, who was working as a shunter, pleaded guilty to the offence, which occurred at the Port Kembla rail yards in October 2011. The Independent Transport Safety Regulator (ITSB) prosecuted the worker under the Rail safety (Drug and Alcohol Testing) Regulations 2008.

The magistrate hearing the case noted the offence of failing to provide a sample when required was more serious than being detected working under the influence and fined the worker $2,000 plus court costs.

Loco Division Secretary Bob Hayden said the case is a blunt reminder of workers’ responsibilities to comply with testing.

“It’s critical that all workers are aware of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to drug and alcohol testing. As we’ve seen in this example, the ramifications are serious,” Bob Hayden said.

“Workers cannot refuse to participate in a drug and alcohol test, but you do have the right to ask to see the Certificate of Authorisation of the testing officer and the right to privacy when conducting the tests.

“Drug and alcohol testing is taken very seriously, so any members not well versed on the procedures, should make sure they contact the union.”

If you have any queries about your rights and responsibilities when it comes to Drug and Alcohol testing, contact your delegate or organiser.