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New high-spec vehicle takes drug testing into the forest

New high-spec vehicle takes drug testing into the forest

Whangarei, 16 July 2014: Moves to help keep workplaces safe and drug free have been given a boost with a new state-of-the-art, 4WD mobile drug testing van in Northland.

The new van makes mobile drug testing easier for The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) - which specialises in workplace drug tests – particularly in some of the more remote areas of forestry in Northland.

Workplace drug testing is on the rise in New Zealand as employers realise the crucial safety and productivity benefits of a clean, healthy workforce, and with the forestry industry working particularly hard to improve its safety record, TDDA CEO Kirk Hardy says the need for the new, improved vehicle quickly became apparent.

“Deb Gurr, TDDA Northland General Manager raised the idea at our national conference last year and put the wheels in motion. After a lot of planning and designing the van first hit the road in January with great success, joining our fleet of 40 plus mobile drug testing vans operating in New Zealand and Australia.”

The Ford Ranger van features an independent power supply so testing facilities don’t drain the vehicle battery, external tanks for larger amounts of fresh and grey water, and a clinical interior for easier cleaning and maintaining IANZ standards.

But most importantly the new van is 4WD, making it much easier for drug testing teams to reach work crews in challenging terrain in Northland’s forests.

A feature that Deb says has been invaluable. “The 4WD can easily handle the difficult forestry roads and has given us access to a lot of places in the region we’ve had trouble getting to in our standard mobile drug testing vehicles.”

With forestry companies a key employer in many parts of Northland the new, hardier purpose built mobile testing facilty gives TDDA better access to a large part of the region’s workforce.

“Now, if there are forestry employers out there wanting to make sure their crews are drug-free and safe, we can be sure we have no problem reaching them onsite,” Deb says.

There’s already been some interest in the new purpose built vehicle from other TDDA offices that have to deal with challenging terrain.

Kirk says, “More and more employers are realising the need for, and the advantages of workplace drug testing, but it can still be a contentious issue, at the end of the day it is all about keeping people safe and educating everyone that alcohol, drugs and machinery do not mix.

“Having tools like this vehicle, help us reassure both employers and employees that the testing can be fast and effective without causing massive disruption and ensuring the integrity of the testing – and that means we can help make workplaces safer and healthier.”


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