Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
KiwiRail's records of random drug and alcohol tests for the three years from 2013 to 2015 showed that 95% of the positive results had related to employees working in its safety-critical infrastructure maintenance and train operations areas. KiwiRail's practice of randomly testing 10% of its workforce annually means that an individual is potentially tested once every 10 years, which is consistent with the rail protection officer not having been randomly tested in the previous 10 years.

Random testing is more useful than post-incident testing, as it is designed to act as a deterrent and prevent accidents and incidents instead of finding out after the event. The more likely staff are to be tested, the bigger the deterrent.

Comparative rail companies in New Zealand and Australia are testing at higher ratios, with some achieving a 50% testing programme within a 12-month period.

The Commission recommends to the Chief Executive of KiwiRail that he address KiwiRail’s low-ratio random testing programme.
Reply Text
We confirm that KiwiRail is increasing its random drug and alcohol testing regime from 10% per annum to 20% per annum. This change will take effect from 01 October 2017.

As further requested, KiwiRail undertakes to confirm with the Commission once the change is fully implemented including confirmation of the implementation date, a description of how it was implemented, and evidence to demonstrate full implementation.
Related Investigation(s)