Drug and Alcohol Testing

Testing workers for drugs and alcohol can sometimes be controversial, but it can also be a vital part of your safety program.

In one study, workers tested for drugs and alcohol on “random and unannounced” schedules reported substantially lower accident rates, after any volume of testing occasions.

Tired worker rubbing neck

Remember, drug and alcohol testing doesn't have to be about punishing workers, it can be about

  • Correcting unsafe behaviours
  • Improving your team's health
  • Increasing productivity
  • Lifting team morale
  • Intervening before an accident happens

When should you drug test?

There are a variety of prompts to conduct testing. An effective drug and alcohol program could include any or all of these, depending on the nature of your business.

Testing occasion

Pre-employment or pre-deployment

Testing employees before they join your organisation, or before they are deployed on an assignment

Blanket testing

Testing all employees in a single event 

Random testing

Randomly selecting a proportion of employees to be tested 


Conducting a test after an accident, potential accident, or 'near miss' 

'For cause' testing

When a supervisor has concerns about an employee's behaviour, they might request a drug and alcohol test


Providing workers with access to the means to test themselves, to assure they attend work in safety 

Return to work

If a worker has previously returned a positive test, they might be required to test negative before returning to duty 


How should you conduct testing?

Depending on your program's aims and goals, your facilities, and even your industry, there are a few options when it comes to selecting a testing medium. Medvet can help you select and manage a program involving oral fluid, urine or hair testing.

Oral fluid testing Urine testing Hair testing

Oral Fluid



  • Detects drug use in hours to days
  • Preliminary on-site screen results
  • Detects drug use in days to weeks
  • Preliminary on-site screen results
  • Detects drug use in months
  • Laboratory reports results

Safety Integrity arrow 2


What drug groups should you include in your testing?

There are a number of drug groups that can impact your business. The images below highlight some of the most common, but depending on your workforce or industry, you might also be interested in anabolic steroids, synthetic cannabinoids or cathinones, or other substances. Medvet can work with you to develop a testing program that meets your needs, and Australian Standards.

Alcohol Amphetamines











THC (Cannabis)


 If you would like to discuss tailoring an effective drug and alcohol program to meet your organisation's needs, contact Medvet today!