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Drug testing on the increase in NSW

Apr 15, 2016Loco Express News

The chances of you being subject to a random drug test at work have just increased substantially.

In addition to the random testing system that rail operators are required to implement by law in NSW, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator (ONRSR) has announced it will now commence additional random drug testing of Rail Safety Workers (RSWs) across the state.

The RTBU attended an information session by ONRSR, which outlined the regulator’s plans to commence this additional testing on-site from the end of April 2016.

The testing regime by ONRSR has no end date as of yet and is thereby a continuing program of testing until it has been determined otherwise.

The new testing system by ONRSR will sit alongside that of a rail operator’s testing system (for example, the 25% random drug testing as it proscribed by law in NSW); it will not affect this program in any way, shape or form.

There are two components to the program: non-incident related drug testing/random testing, and post-incident testing in response to Category A incidents as ONRSR has the legal capacity to do so. Offenses by way of detection will arise as a result of a non-negative result indicating the presence of THC, MDMA and methamphetamines. Workers to be tested must be RSWs who are on-site to perform rail safety work that day, otherwise they cannot be tested by Medvet.

Medvet – the company conducting the testing – workers will carry identification cards that they are required to show employees prior to testing. A key difference to the statutory testing conducted by all rail operators in NSW is that this testing will be oral fluid testing and not urine testing.

Click here to see the information bulletin received from ONRSR – if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the RTBU directly.

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