Master Builders Australia welcomes the phased implementation of the new drug and alcohol fitness for work amendments for the building and construction industry under the Building Code 2013.

Commencing on Friday 16 October 2015, all contractors covered by the Building Code will need to ensure that their workplace health, safety and rehabilitation policies include how they will manage drugs and alcohol in the workplace.

“To be eligible to work on Federal Government projects (where the Federal Government’s contribution is at least $5 million and represents at least 50% of the total construction value of the project or is at least $10 million)  contractors must also comply with new drug and alcohol testing policies on building sites as head contractors will be required to ensure that anyone undertaking work, including employees of contractors and sub-contractors are subject to the testing regime,” Wilhelm Harnisch, CEO of Master Builders Australia said.

“The inclusion of compulsory drug and alcohol testing policies is a win for safety on building sites and the three stage implementation approach outlined by Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) will help maximise compliance by all contractors,” he said.

“While the amendments to the Building Code will officially take effect from 16 October 2015, FWBC will not commence audits until 1 February 2016 to give contractors time to put in place Code compliant arrangements. The regulator will then take action if non-compliance is not voluntarily rectified,” Wilhelm Harnisch said. 

“This is a welcome and sensible approach to implementing this important safety policy,” Wilhelm Harnisch said.

For more information visit: www.fwbc.gov.au/building-code or call Fair Work Building and Construction on 1800 003 338.