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Drug testing explained (in under 3 minutes)

Employers and employees need to understand their rights and responsibilities, and the facts when it comes to drug testing at work.

Drug testing in the workplace is increasingly common and includes: pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing, testing on suspicion, and testing if there is an accident or incident.

It's important to recognise that drug testing does not always improve workplace safety, can be ineffective at managing impairment, and is highly invasive.

New Zealand workers can only be randomly drug tested in safety sensitive environments. There is less clarity around other drug testing but it needs to be in-line with any employment agreement and should be consistent with the organisation's alcohol and other drug policy. 

All drug tests must be conducted by people qualified to collect the sample and must be analysed by a laboratory to be valid. 

What you need to know

Random drug testing does not necessarily make a workplace safer

Testing only detects a narrow variety of drugs

Health and safety efforts should focus on impairment

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