Rail takes drug and alcohol testing seriously

Friday, 30 May, 2014

New drug and alcohol testing data, released by theAustralasian Railway Association (ARA), has shown a decrease in the rate of positive results amongst employees over two years, even though the number of tests conducted has increased by more than 130,000, or nearly 55%.

来自一个审查结果,在2012年进行and again in 2013 by the ARA, of 22 of its members, which comprise passenger and freight operators, track owners and managers, constructors, manufacturers and suppliers.

The review found that between 1 January and 31 December 2012, the Australian Rail Industry undertook 240,394 employee drug and alcohol tests, 284 or 0.12% of which returned positive results. The following year, in 2013, there was a significant increase in the number of tests conducted amongst the same 22 companies to 371,148, with 311 or 0.08% results returning positive. This showed an overall decrease of 0.04%, or one third, in the rate of employees returning positive results.

ARA Chief Executive Officer Bryan Nye OAM, said these results supported the great importance that rail places on the welfare and safety of its workforce and the continued commitment to moving people and freight safely around the country.

“These results show rail’s commitment and success in managing risk and safety on the Australian rail network with regards to drugs and alcohol. We have increased our tests, yet positive results have still significantly dropped by an entire third,” said Nye.

“After every incident recorded in this survey, rail personnel were tested and none were found to be positive.

“Rail is a major national industry, employing more than 110,000 people in a wide range of occupations, disciplines and professions in urban, regional and rural areas of Australia.

“It is paramount that employees working within the rail industry uphold the core value of safety in their organisations; the random drug and alcohol testing is one of the many successful initiatives that helps to ensure the safe operation of rail within our communities.

“Like level crossing safety and other incidents on the network, one incident is one too many. All Australian rail organisations take the safety of their personnel and customers extremely seriously - the results from this review are testament to this,” concluded Nye.

An average of 98% of tests conducted in both years were random, with the remaining 2% comprising pre-employment, post incident or upon suspicion tests. Tests were taken by swab, breath or urine samples.

The data can be provided on request, noting that all companies surveyed will remain anonymous.

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