AS/NZS 4760:2019 Oral Fluid Testing



Background – Standards Australia and New Zealand agreed to produce a combined Oral Fluid Testing (OFT) standard forming a Standards Review Committee in February 2015. That Committee’ s work has resulted in the release of AS/NZS 4760:2019on 12th March 2019.  Onlookers were informed of a ‘hard fought battle’ and subsequently some members of the Standards Committee have described the AS/NZS 4760:2019 as a “compromise to accommodate on-site screening”.  Indeed, things seem far from perfect!

Why adhere to Standards?

In Air New Zealand v Various Trade Unions and Associations (ARC 42/03) Judge TG Goddard accepted [16] the “… defendant’s assurance that the testing procedures are intended by it to be carried out in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand Standard Procedures for the collection, detection and quantitation of drugs of abuse in urine: AS/NZS 4308:2001 …”

This was fundamentally important given random testing was [241] “suspicionless” and impacted “… in a substantive way the principles already identified under …. privacy, common law … and human rights (legislation).” Clearly, any random testing would need to be completed fairly and appropriately!

Key Criteria to Meet Under AS/NZS 4760:2019

  •          Testing agents must be trained under NZQA unit standards – these should be developed by June.
  •          OFT on-site screening devices must be verified (under appendix C) as meeting the AS/NZS 4760:2019.  There are currently none that are verified to the standard – anywhere in the world.

 View this article in Safety Bulletin 118