Workplace drug testing spreads to white collar workers as $80m industry grows

orkplace drug testing is on the rise among Australia’s white collar workforces and, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, on the frontline will be sales representatives driving company vehicles.

The workplace drug testing industry – currently valued at around $80 million – is accelerating its growth by about 20% annually.

However, Australia still has a long way to go to catch up with the United States, where studies estimate that about 70% of the working population undergo drug tests. In Australia, it’s estimated that around 15% of employees are subject to workplace drug testing, compared to 5% a decade ago.

The US percentage was at just 10% in the 1980s but has gained steady traction due to legislative changes and shifts in corporate attitudes. Today, many US financial services and stockbroking firms conduct drug tests on promising junior staff before they are offered a promotion while US retailer, Walmart, reportedly conducts drug testing on all its employees.

In Australia, drug testing procedures are commonplace as part of the pre-employment process. But community concerns over the rising use of drugs have led more employers to conduct random drug testing on employees.

“Australia is slowly revising its policies in the workplace. Some industries have mandatory testing while others are in the process of making workplace drug testing mandatory,” says Pedro Pessoa, one of Andatech’s certified drug testing professionals.

“Contractors are responsible for their actions and can be in trouble if are randomly tested in a industrial site.”

While drug testing of mine site, transport and logistics workers remain the pillars in Australia, industry experts are noticing an increased demand from white collar sectors.

Problems in these sectors were recently uncovered by the rising incidence of random drug testing of drivers being carried out by police around Australia.

Additionally, there has been an alarming rise in the use of “ice” or methamphetamines in the workplace this year, so much so that in April, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a taskforce to try to confront the “ice” problem.

Community concerns over the rising use of drugs have led more employers to conduct random drug testing on employees, including white collar professionals.

“Australia is slowly getting educated on the problems that alcohol and drugs can bring to the workplace and are making a move to prevent those accidents from happening,” Mr. Pessoa adds.

Andatech recently announced its new service as a drug testing provider, with services including collection, testing and reporting for drug and as well as advising on any appropriate policy requirements.

As a third party drug and alcohol testing company, Andatech is certified and able to test for all major drug groups. Featuring strict quality control standards and Australian Standard certified testing equipment, Andatech is committed to providing efficient service with fast and accurate results.

“At Andatech, we understand that companies who lack the manpower and budget to conduct their own alcohol and drug testing in-house need an easier and more cost- and time-effective Australian Standards Certified option to outsource this task too,” Irwandy Tan, Andatech’s director, said in his press release earlier this year.

Ideal for businesses looking to introduce or improve on existing drug and alcohol policies, Andatech’s drug and alcohol (third party sampling) management plans can be tailored to suit individual business needs. This makes it the perfect solution for any industry or company whether small or big. Other than our management plans, we also have a new drug and alcohol management platform. DT Manager allows companies to have full control of their testing procedures, and keeps a succinct record of past tests, drug field tests, and many more. You can check out DT Manager here.

For information and assistance with drug testing Australia workplace employees, be sure to talk to our workplace drug testing experts on 1300 800 200 (AU) or +613 8899 6900 (International) for a free consultation.

Jaka Exstrada

Jaka Exstrada

Jaka has been a long-standing employee with Andatech, and has a background in events, marketing, and hospitality business management. An accredited Drug and Alcohol Officer for Drug Abuse Testing, Jaka brings valuable insight into the fields of drug testing. With his knowledge, companies also consult Jaka for drug and alcohol policies, and regulations- all of which he provides briefs on drug abuse information in the workplace.


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