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Reasonable Cause Testing - A case Study

An Actual Scenario From 2016¹

Background (early to mid-2016):

The employee: approx. 40 years old; in the crew since 2010.

He had been earmarked as a future crew owner.

Recently commended “a skilled operator …leads by example.”

Married with a house and two teenage children. Both partners had steady work with good incomes.

Well respected by PF Olsen management staff.

Had lots of out-of-work hobbies and interests.

The day the TDDA Van turned up (Oct 2016)

Noticeably slow out of the bush to take the test.

Very grumpy when he approached the van.

 Came out of his machine without his Hi-Viz on 

Subsequently refused to be tested, saying he “would fail for methamphetamine”.

In hindsight (after employment terminated):

Recent trouble communicating/cooperating with other workers.

Things were getting broken – and always someone else’s fault.

His Ute, normally clean, “…had deteriorated into a filthy stinking mess… his house had deteriorated in the same way.”

Keeping in mind the couple’s joint income – the crew owner commented that “he had recently been asking to borrow $20 here and there.”

Unexplained absenteeism had become more frequent.

Generally behaviour seemed out of character – the crew “thought that he might be having relationship problems”.

He had become repeatedly late for work and grumpy.

He had stopped doing overtime, had lost interest in the management opportunity and his whole attitude had declined!

 ¹ While the details provided above are based on a real situation, minor details have been altered to protect the crew.  

NB: Image Source: Google ‘labelled for re-use’ are not related to the scenario, PF Olsen Ltd, its operations or workforce.

View this article in Safety Bulletin 104