DRUG SCOURGE | Outrage as 500% more miners caught on ice

A MINING company said the number of workers testing positive to illegal drugs and alcohol has increased 500 per cent since it introduced a new testing program.

And the Supreme Court slapped down a challenge of the new system from the union representing Goonyella Riverside Mine workers, the CFMEU.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance asset president Rag Udd said the company was surprised by the CFMEU's decision to challenge the new arrangements.

"Since Goonyella Riverside adopted new urine screening procedures a number of cases of drug and alcohol use have been detected, including methamphetamine, commonly referred to as ice,'' Mr Udd said.

"Our analysis shows that compared to the previous year, the detection rate for substance use has increased approximately five fold since the improved regime was introduced.

"We understand that drug use is an issue within the broader community and BMA has counselling services available to our employees if they are in need of assistance.

"But it is unacceptable for someone affected by drugs to perform work on site, placing themselves and their workmates at risk of a serious safety incident.

"That's why BMA has pursued the course it has in relation to this matter to implement the urine screening system in the middle of 2015.

"BMA will also be making the case to the State Government that the current review of Queensland's mine safety legislation should support the industry's efforts to improve safety by preventing people impaired by drug use from entering our sites," Mr Udd said.

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