Government Building Code Changes – All You Need to Know

The Building Code has been overhauled by the Government making it mandatory for principal contractors to ensure drug and alcohol tests are carried out and a “zero tolerance” policy is instigated when it comes to construction work carried out on most Commonwealth funded projects.

The government pours a lot of money into construction and building projects each year and so, as a client they’re within their rights to set the behavioural standards they expect upheld by those funded.

The Building Code changes apply to existing and new Federal Government construction projects which reach a set monetary threshold.

What Do These Changes Mean?

Principal contractors must:

1. Implement a thorough and complete policy for the management of alcohol and drug problems on-site. This includes making testing mandatory.

2. Instigate a “zero tolerance” approach to enforcing the new regulations.

3. Conduct saliva tests or urine tests.

Minimum Requirements:

Construction and site-office workers must be frequently and periodically tested for drugs and alcohol:

1. For sites employing 30 workers or less, 10% of these employees need to be tested per month.

2. For a worksite with over 30 and up to 100 workers on-site, at least 5 must be tested monthly.

3. When it comes to sites with over 100 employees, 10 workers minimum must be tested each month.

If A Worker Tests Positive…

If someone is found to have drugs or alcohol in their system they will be deemed unfit for work. They cannot continue performing their tasks until they have proven they are fit to return. Other unspecified processes will also apply. Disciplinary processes will be enacted, but contractors are also expected to help counsel and assist such workers.

If A Sub-Contractor or Company Breaches the New Code…

They will be sanctioned. One possible and highly likely sanction is that the company or contractor will be banned from ever performing work on government funded construction projects again.


This article was originally published on ConstructJobs.com.au