Staying Safe
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Worksite drug testing

Learn about when drug tests may take place, the type of tests, and the process.

Effects on the Brain
Effects on the Brain

Workplace drug testing

When might a drug test take place?

  • Pre-employment – new workers undertake a test before starting the job
  • Random – workers are randomly chosen to do a test without notice
  • For cause – testing because there’s suspicion a worker is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Post-incident – screening of workers when there’s been an accident/near miss.

Breath (alcohol only)

Positive test indicates person is impaired by alcohol.


Can detect drug use that occurred in last 3 days.


Can detect drug use in the last 1-3 days.


Can detect drug use up to 6 months – but cannot determine recent use or single use of a drug.

What is the process for testing?

Step 1:

A sample is collected and screened using a ‘point of collection’ device. The accuracy of these devices can vary and ‘false positive’ readings are possible.

Step 2:

Drug tests require laboratory screening to confirm their accuracy. For alcohol, a second breathalyser test is given at least 20 minutes after the first positive result to confirm initial blood alcohol levels.

If you want to make a complaint or understand your rights regarding workplace testing, go to: