On Sunday, 6 December 2015, the Commonwealth Government released the Final Report of the National Ice Taskforce.
Alarmingly, Ice use in Australia has increased to proportions greater than almost any other country, with the number of users steadily rising. The report suggests there are well over 200,000 users in Australia.
Evidence suggests that Ice is now the second most commonly used illicit drug in Australia after cannabis and is increasingly being accepted, particularly among younger users.
The impact on individuals who use Ice is catastrophic. Serious behavioural effects, psychological issues and death is not unusual. Of course, the extent of the impact broadens beyond the individual and puts stress on families and pressure on the community. The ability for a person addicted to Ice to live a healthy and productive life is a burden to society.
Unquestionably, Ice is posing a major risk within the workplace. The report warned that 2.3% of the Australian workforce used some form of meth/amphetamines in the past 12 months and that less frequent users of Ice tend to be on the payroll (69%). It also highlighted that there is a higher prevalence of Ice use among certain industries with fly in, fly out workers being raised as a concern.
Interestingly, the report suggests that the workplace remains underused as a prevention and intervention setting. All workplaces that have high instances of alcohol and drug use need comprehensive policies that deal with all aspects of the problem and clearly define objectives, roles and responsibilities.
Opportunities for workforce prevention activities should not be overlooked. This is where Romteck Australia with their locally designed and manufactured OSPAT solution is revolutionising workplace health and safety standards.
OSPAT, an acronym for Occupational Safety Performance Assessment Technology, is a fast, effective and reliable method for detecting the cognitive impairment of an individual.
Current drug and alcohol testing methods, used by many organisations, are not designed to detect Ice intoxication or withdrawal and recovery. Once Ice leaves a user’s blood stream, there is a corresponding crash in mood and energy that results in profound emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that can last for several days. OSPAT detects any variation in performance in everyone, through assessments before every shift.
Romteck Australia’s efforts with OSPAT have focused on helping organisations deal not only with drugs and alcohol but a large array of emotional, social and physiological concerns. The system delivers comprehensive reporting and analytics that provides a full audit of all tests which enables a business to fully comply with Fair Work Building and Construction requirements.