CFMEU drug policy keeps Members safe

Published: 15 Apr 2016

The CFMEU together with the Building Industry Group (BIG) of unions has launched an Australian-first Drug and Alcohol Management Program (DAMP).

James knows how important a policy focused on the safety, health and wellbeing of workers is, because he's been through an ice addiction.

CFMEU Victorian State Secretary, John Setka said: "Our drug and alcohol policy calls for the testing of everyone on site, from your senior managers down. But it goes further than the Federal Government’s policy on the run. Our policy is focused on education, support, counselling and rehabilitation."

Importantly, the DAMP allows all workers on site the option of self-testing and/or reporting.

The policy of self-testing works to encourage employees to test themselves for drugs and alcohol prior to beginning work for the day, anonymously and without fear of retribution. This serves to both decrease the risk of them putting themselves and/or their co-workers in danger while also providing them with counselling and support opportunities.

In the lead-up to these tests, all workers and managers have been thoroughly briefed on the specifics of the trial and Brookfield Multiplex managers, BIG union officials, shop stewards and safety reps have all been trained on the testing procedures.

The DAMP emphasises the benefits of a collaborative approach to managing the complicated issues around drug and alcohol impairment on building sites. Importantly, the trial is founded on the principles of education, support, counselling and rehabilitation.

However, the BIG Unions also point to the need for a substantial boost to funding for prevention programs and treatment facilities from the Federal Government.

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