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Alcohol and drugs—including medicines prescribed by a doctor or available from a pharmacy—can affect a person’s ability to work safely.

Work health and safety duties 

All workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and ensure they don’t adversely affect that of others. This means they must be fit and well enough to do their job, not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or use alcohol or illegal drugs while at work.

  • In some jobs such as road and rail transport, maritime and mining occupations, the law sets down a legal blood alcohol level and may prohibit a worker from being affected by any drugs—legal or illegal.

Some companies have explicit policies to test their workers for alcohol and illicit substances. This is particularly important if a worker could kill or seriously injure themselves, another worker or a member of the public.

You can get more information on how to reduce work-related risks associated with drug and alcohol use at Work Health and Safety Queensland, SafeWork NSW and Western Australia’s Department of Commerce.

Further advice

SWA is not a regulator and cannot advise you about drugs and alcohol in the workplace. If you need help, please contact your state or territory WHS regulator.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Monday 29 July 2019 [6416|30806]