Workshops educate businesses on workplace drug use

By: Chris Smith

Drug and alcohol testing and screening specialist Frontline Diagnostics will hold a series of workshops in March 2008 to educate

Drug and alcohol testing and screening specialist Frontline Diagnostics will hold a series of workshops in March 2008 to educate Australian employers about the prevalence and impact of drugs at work and how to develop policies to ensure a drug-safe workplace.

The Drug-Safe workshops, designed for business owners and managers and Occupational Health and Safety managers, will be held in Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, Brisbane and Melbourne from March 2008.

The two-hour workshops will feature a number of speakers including Frontline Diagnostics Managing Director Michael White, a legal expert and a toxicologist (a specialist in identifying the effects of drugs in the body).

Michael White established Frontline Diagnostics in 1999 to provide Australian industry with a complete solution for the detection, management and control of alcohol and other drugs in the workplace.

"Most managers are oblivious to drug use and drug impairment at work. It’s not easy to monitor the presence of drugs at work, yet 70 percent of drug users in Australia are employed. Organisations need to remember that a reputation for drug use will kill a business just as fast as it will kill a drug user," White says.

"The upcoming workshops will focus on a number of areas including how to develop and implement a drug and alcohol policy; training managers and teaching employees about company policy; differences between the types of drug testing available; how Frontline Diagnostics can screen your entire workplace for the presence of drugs and finally, how to structure an effective random drug testing program for employees," he says.

White has experienced first-hand how drug use can be overlooked in the workplace and the damaging consequences.

"Prior to setting up Frontline Diagnostics I worked with a business partner in pharmaceutical promotions for 15 years. We had a great working relationship and I was unaware that he was a heroin addict until he overdosed and passed away after 12 years of using the drug," White reflects.

"It was then that I decided I wanted to work towards creating a drug-safe Australia. Using my background in pharmaceuticals, I started Frontline Diagnostics to provide a testing and screening service as well as assistance in policy development for companies to lessen the impact of drug and alcohol use in the workplace."

The first workshops will be held on Tuesday, March 4, in Newcastle; Tuesday, March 18, in Brisbane and Tuesday, March 25, in Sydney.
The Drug-Safe workshops cost $60 (breakfast included) to attend. Details about dates and venues as well as how to register can be obtained by calling 1800 888 852.

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