Gladstone workplace policies tackle synthetic drug use

CRIME Stoppers Queensland has been so concerned by a rise in synthetic drug use by workers in the mining, oil and gas sectors, they have launched the New Synthetic Drugs: Real Damage campaign.

The launch came after the Drug Detection Agency recorded at least 420 "non-negative" results out of the 12,760 workers tested throughout last year.

In Gladstone, local corporations remained confident they were doing all they could to ensure safe worksites.

They said support frameworks were in place for employees.

A Bechtel spokesperson said all illicit substance screening was conducted according to industry standards.

"Random drug and alcohol testing is performed across Bechtel's sites on a daily basis, with testing conducted in accordance with the relevant Australian standard," the spokesperson said.

Gladstone Ports Corporation confirmed they had programs and policies in place to handle drug tests and related issues, but declined to provide details.

Awareness Australia CEO Tim Casey, head of an organisation specialising in providing alcohol and drug awareness training advice to industry workers affected by drug and alcohol issues, said complacency was an issue.

"Addiction did not discriminate," he said. "You don't have to be an alcoholic or drug-dependant person to make a job unsafe," he said.

"If employers provided help earlier, perhaps the guys wouldn't get to the point where they're struggling."

QAL and Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun community relations manager Jeremy Hastings confirmed there was an alcohol and other drugs policy in place and said issues were few and far between.



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