New Zealand: NZ Bus strengthens Alcohol and Drug Free Policy
Scoop Independent News
July 21, 2015
Press Release: NZ Bus
NZ Bus strengthens Alcohol and Drug Free Policy as part of continuous improvement in Health and Safety
NZ Bus, New Zealand’s largest bus operator, has worked with union representatives to further strengthen its existing Alcohol and Drug Free Policy, reflecting the shared commitment of management and staff to a best practice approach to health and safety in the workplace.
The company’s Alcohol and Drug Free Policy already included provision to test pre-employment or transfer, post-accident or incident, and for reasonable cause. Changes now introduced include random alcohol and drug testing and extending the testing to cover all employees and contractors, regardless of their role in the company.
NZ Bus Chief Operating Officer Southern, Tonia Haskell, says “We have a great track record on this front, as would be expected of a safety-sensitive business. For example, over the past year a number of staff have been tested after incidents, with none having tested positive for drugs or alcohol. But the introduction of random testing reflects the seriousness with which both management and staff of NZ Bus take health and safety.”
This move to strengthen the Alcohol and Drug Free Policy complements a range of other recent initiatives NZ Bus has introduced aimed at achieving the Zero Harm goal promoted by the Business Leaders’ Health & Safety Forum Steering Group, of which NZ Bus CEO Zane Fulljames is a member. These include an employee wellness programme and a new incident and hazard reporting system.
NZ Bus has seen a 5% reduction in lost time injuries, and a 16% reduction in motor vehicle accidents year-on-year since 2014, which has assisted NZ Bus in holding the highest level of ACC accreditation for two years in a row.
“While the improvements made to health and safety policies and processes are already delivering benefits, we are committed to continuous improvement in our approach to health and safety, in the best interests of our staff and our customers,” said Ms Haskell.