CMPA and VicRoads (DOT) Team Up for Heavy Vehicle Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy Builder

By on August 21, 2022

The adverse effects of alcohol and other drugs is a serious occupational health and safety risk management issue for employers, but especially, for employees who are driving on public roads.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (OHS Act) requires employers, as far as is reasonably practicable, to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. This legal obligation includes to consult with employees and extends to independent contractors engaged by an employer and any employees of the independent contractor.

Under section 35 (1) of the OHS Act, employers must consult with employees when doing certain things that affect, or are likely to affect employee’s health and safety, including those arising from the use of alcohol and other drugs and to prevent and manage risks associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs.

From 1 April 2021, the Victorian Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit is zero (0.00) for drivers of all vehicles of greater than 4.5 tonne (GVM), reinforcing that workplaces (no matter how small) operating vehicles of 4.5 tonne GVM upwards, should have a comprehensive alcohol and other drugs policy in-place.

An alcohol and other drug policy should clearly explain:
• employer, supervisor and employee responsibilities in relation to alcohol and other drugs, including information on how hangovers and comedown can affect work in addition to intoxication;
• how your organisation manages situations where alcohol and other drugs are involved, including functions and taking medications;
• whether drug testing is conducted, including support offered to employees and the employer actions upon the return of a positive employee test result;
• how to determine if someone is unfit for work due to alcohol and other drugs, including what to do in these situations; and
• the steps that need to be taken to manage an employee’s return to work after being deemed unfit.

To help the heavy vehicle workplace, a simple Department of Transport (DoT) online toolkit has been created, with input from industry experts and the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

The free toolkit includes:
• An online policy builder – answer a few questions about your workplace and a tailored, comprehensive policy is automatically generated;
(https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/
heavy-vehicle-industry/preventing-alcohol-and-drugrelated-harm-on-our-roads/alcohol-and-drug-policy
)

• An employer’s guide – contains information to support businesses to successfully implement and manage the policy; (https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/-/media/files/documents/business-and-industry/preventing-alcohol-and-other-drugs/2021-fact-sheets/ptvh5189stu03016_aod-toolkit-update_march-2021_policyuser-guide_v5_web_fa.ashx)
• Online education for employees – to help employees understand their obligations under the policy and the impacts of alcohol and other drugs in the workplace; and
(https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/heavy-vehicle-industry/preventing-alcohol-and-drug-related-harm-on-our-roads/employers-and-employees/employee-education)
• Resources – to help you identify and manage alcohol and other drug problems in the workplace.
(https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/
heavy-vehicle-industry/preventing-alcohol-and-drug-related-harm-on-our-roads/employers-and-employees
)

Dr Elizabeth Gibson, General Manager CMPA says, a robust alcohol and drug policy helps to reduce risk and associated liabilities. A policy can also ensure consistency in management and decision-making about alcohol and other drug related matters.

The DoT online policy toolkit will build and customise an alcohol and other drug policy tailored for your business, including adding your company name and logo. You will be asked nine (9) yes/no questions about your specific needs in a policy. Answering ‘yes’ to any question will result in the relevant material being added to your policy.

Greg Ryan from Road Safe (DoT) can even help walk you through the process. For any queries or assistance please contact Greg on Mobile: 0428 549 656.

Dandy Premix recently used the online tool to develop a tailored policy, Manager Sustainability Garry Cranny stated that “the online tool was extremely easy to use, and it produced a quality policy that otherwise would have taken hours, or even days to otherwise research and develop.”


“We view an active Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy to be our business’ critical first line of defence in the event of a road trauma involving any of our vehicles of greater than 4.5 tonne (GVM).”

“Dandy Premix is committed to driver education, awareness and employee support to help keep our local community roads safe.”

Build your policy now by going to the VicRoads website.

https:// www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/heavyvehicle- industry/preventing-alcohol-and-drug-related-harm-on-our-roads/alcohol-and-drug-policy

For further information, assistance and any required workshops please contact:
Greg Ryan on Mobile: 0428 549 656.
(Greg is contacted by Road Safe Gippsland who have been funded by DOT to promote the Policy Builder.)

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