Release type: Media Release


Government Building Code now requires drug and alcohol testing policies on construction sites


Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Tasmania

The Australian Government has today introduced amendments to the Building Code to ensure higher standards of workplace safety for construction sites.  


The Building Code will now require drug and alcohol testing on construction sites.


The construction industry is a high risk industry where the risks associated with the use of heavy machinery, mobile equipment, working in congested areas and working from heights, are accentuated by the effects of alcohol and drug use.


Fair Work Building and Construction will be responsible for auditing contractors to ensure those subject to the Code have in place a fitness for work policy that is compliant with the Building Code. 


Contractors who are subject to the Code will have 28 days to ensure they have a compliant policy in place. The requirements under the Code to test for the presence of alcohol and drugs are modelled on those that previously applied under the former Victorian Construction Code but which were regrettably removed by the Andrews Labor Government. 


The Government remains strongly committed to the success and safety of the building industry by re-establishing the Australian Building and Construction Commission as well as using the Building Code to achieve safer and more efficient workplaces.


“It is essential that workers on construction sites do not present a risk to themselves, their co-workers, and the public by having drugs and alcohol in their systems,” Minister for Employment Senator Eric Abetz said.


“Safety is a paramount consideration on construction sites.  It is simply an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of employees and the public to have workers affected by drugs or alcohol on construction sites.”


“The Government is committed to the Building Code to ensure taxpayer funded sites operate safely and efficiently, and projects are delivered on time and on budget,” Minister Abetz concluded.