This chapter provides guidance in relation
to drugs and alcohol use, and is primarily
based on New Zealand legislation and guidance issued by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
It will help you determine the best way to manage drugs, including medication, and alcohol to ensure the safety of all workers.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 requires all PCBUs to identify drug and alcohol use as a hazard, and therefore eliminate or minimise the risk.
All workers on a production (pre, during and post) should read and understand the section on ‘minimum responsibilities’.
Roles that have specific responsibilities, or influence, over workers should read the section on ‘planning and guidance considerations and responsibilities’ – this includes producers, directors, production managers, line producers, heads of departments, assistant directors and health and safety officer.
The use of drugs and alcohol, even if consumed outside work hours, can lead to poor concentration, carelessness, fatigue, risk-taking behaviour, and errors in judgement. Misuse of drugs and alcohol not only affects work performance, but also results in higher rates of injuries, fatalities, and absenteeism.
Safety-sensitive tasks are ones where impaired performance, for whatever reason, could affect the safety worker or others around. While misuse of drugs or alcohol is a risk in any situation, the risk is heightened during safety-sensitive tasks.
For example, working on a film set is safety sensitive because of the inherent risk. Other safety-sensitive roles include, but are not limited to:
All workers should:
The use of drugs and alcohol, even if consumed outside work hours, can lead to poor concentration, carelessness, fatigue, risk-taking behaviour, and errors in judgement.
Anyone who is responsible for, or has influence over, workers should read and understand this section, as well as the minimum responsibilities for everyone.
This includes the production company, producers, directors, line producers, heads of departments, assistant directors and health and safety officers.
The policy should:
If the production company decide that drug and/or alcohol testing is appropriate for the production, it is advised that a clause on testing is included in work agreements / contracts; this clarifies that workers consent to drug and alcohol testing.
If the production company chooses to include a clause on drug testing in its work agreements or contracts, if so this should be outlined in the policy.
Drug testing could occur:
The production company or person in charge may require a worker to be tested if there is reasonable cause or reasonable grounds for suspecting they’re impaired while at work. This includes factors such as the worker being:
Before deciding to test, you should allow the worker to comment on the concerns. It may reduce any question of bias if more than one person makes a decision to require a post-incident test. Your safety management plan should state who will make the decision.
Sometimes, signs of drugs and alcohol misuse are signs of general fatigue. Even if you accept that in a particular case fatigue is the cause of poor performance and testing isn’t appropriate, it’s still important to stand down the worker from safetysensitive tasks.
Post-incident testing is a standard procedure is becoming more common. However, it is important to remember that following an incident there may be higher priorities than testing for example first aid, trauma management, and evacuation.
If the police are involved, they may test at the scene. In other situations, the production company or person in charge must decide what is an appropriate time after the incident to test. In making this decision you should consider the length of time alcohol and drugs are present in a person’s system. See the “what to test for” table for more information.
Random testing should only be conducted when staff are working in safetysensitive roles. The privacy rights of staff will outweigh an employer’s wish to be consistent across all staff and random test any staff member irrespective of staff members’ work roles.
WHAT TO TEST FOR
|DRUGS||CAN STAY IN THE SYSTEM FOR:|
|Amphetamines Methamphetamine Ecstasy||6 days|
|Cocaine / Opiates (including codeine)||2–5 days|
|Alcohol||2–48 hours, depending on
metabolism and amount taken.
The production company (likely to have primary responsibility over health and safety on the production) should develop a drug and alcohol policy.
The production company should:
Anyone who is responsible for, or has influence over, workers is a person in charge and should read this entire chapter. This includes the production company, producers, directors, line producers, heads of departments, assistant directors and health and safety officers.
If it is suspected that a worker is misusing drugs or alcohol, it is recommended, as a first step, that the appropriate person in charge (this may be the head of the department, producer or health and safety officer) and the worker talk about the problem to try to resolve the issue.
If a worker is caught misusing drugs or alcohol, the production’s response should be clearly outlined in the drug and alcohol policy, and followed by the person in charge – this may include testing.
ScreenSafe is not a hotline for specific Health & Safety issues or concerns, please direct these to your Health & Safety representative or WorkSafe
For more information about any of the initiatives ScreenSafe is working on please speak to your relevant Guild representative or contact firstname.lastname@example.org