Meet George Veaudry: Our New General Manager Health

George brings over a decade of management expertise to lead our occupational health services.

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We are thrilled to introduce George Veaudry, who has recently assumed the role of General Manager Health at Safework Health.

George’s journey to this position has been marked by a decade of dedicated service and leadership in various capacities, making him a valuable addition to our team.

Before his promotion, George served as the State Manager for WA and NT, where he demonstrated exceptional skills in management and strategic planning. Now, as the General Manager Health, George oversees all aspects of Safework Health’s occupational health services, which includes pre-employment medicals and Qld coal board medicals.

George brings a wealth of experience to his new role, boasting over ten years of managerial expertise across diverse industries including construction, mining, and technology. His proficiency in strategic business growth, project management, and contract execution has been instrumental in driving success in his previous roles.

At Safework Health, George’s responsibilities extend beyond operational management. He is committed to fostering a culture of excellence and innovation, ensuring that our occupational health services remain at the forefront of industry standards. His leadership style emphasises team development and collaboration, empowering our staff to deliver outstanding results for our clients.

Outside of work, George is passionate about personal development and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. He enjoys staying active through fitness activities and spending quality time outdoors with his family and friends.

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To learn more about how Safework Health can support your workplace, please explore our comprehensive range of occupational health services.

Meet Lisa Smith – National Operations Manager

Lisa Smith has recently been promoted to National Operations Manager

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Introducing Lisa Smith, an accomplished operations manager with over 12 years of industry experience.

Lisa has recently been promoted to the role of National Operations Manager after successfully serving as Operations Manager for the East Coast region for the last eight years.

During her tenure as Operations Manager East Coast, Lisa demonstrated exceptional leadership and operational prowess, driving significant improvements in efficiency and performance across multiple facets of the business. Her strategic initiatives and collaborative approach earned her recognition as a driving force behind the region’s success.

Now, as National Operations Manager, Lisa brings her wealth of experience and proven track record to oversee operations on a larger scale. Her dedication to excellence, coupled with her ability to inspire and motivate teams, positions her as a transformative leader poised to propel Safework Health to new heights of success nationwide.

When Lisa isn’t managing Safework Health’s business operations, she can be found renovating her new place and caring for her two fur babies.

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Announcement: Appointment of New Managing Director

We are pleased to announce Matthew Holt has been appointed as Safework Health’s Managing Director.

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Effective February 9, 2024, Mal Beacham, the Managing Director and a founder of Safework Health, has transitioned from his role. We extend our best wishes to Mal for his future endeavours and appreciate the contributions he has made to the company.

On a positive note, we are pleased to announce that Matthew Holt will be assuming Mal’s role and responsibilities as the Managing Director of Safework Health, effective immediately.

Matt has been a valuable member of Safework Health’s leadership team for several years, demonstrating a solid understanding of the business and fostering strong relationships with key customers and staff.

The Safework Health board fully supports Matt, and we look forward to working closely with him in this new role.

Pathology Asia joins Global Diagnostics Network

Pathology Asia has joined the Global Diagnostics Network – a worldwide network of diagnostic laboratories.

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We are pleased to announce Pathology Asia’s inclusion as a member of the Global Diagnostics Network (GDN), a strategic working group of diagnostic laboratories from around the world. Pathology Asia was introduced to this globe-spanning community in July 2023.

Pathology Asia’s membership in the GDN reinforces its commitment to ensuring that healthcare professionals are well-informed when making choices that will shape medical decisions and health diagnoses. It also furthers their goal to become a fully integrated digital healthcare organisation.

About the Global Diagnostics Network

The GDN was conceptualised by US-based Quest Diagnostics as a worldwide community of leading healthcare companies.  This worldwide network was designed to develop collaborations among the world’s leading healthcare companies to address the growing need for advanced diagnostic testing and high-quality healthcare services.

Presently, the Network has a presence in countries with two-thirds of the world’s population and over 90% of the global pharmaceutical market.  Its members include Quest Diagnostics, Al Borg Medical Laboratories, Apollo Health & Lifestyle, Dasa, GC Labs, Healius, Lifelabs, LSI Medience , KingMed Diagnostics, Pathology Asia, Strand Life Sciences, and SYNLAB.

Proud Member of the Pathology Asia Group

Safework Health has been a member of the Pathology Asia group since 2019. The Group is one of the largest and fastest-growing diagnostics groups in the region and comprises leading diagnostic laboratories across Southeast Asia and Australia.

View Questions and Answers – Medicinal Cannabis in the Workplace Webinar

View the Q&A from our Medicinal Cannabis in the Workplace webinar.

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During our Medicinal Cannabis in the Workplace webinar held on 9 August 2023, numerous questions were asked, some of which we did not have time to answer during the session. Below are all the questions asked, along with our responses.

Should you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at info@swhealth.com.au.

Webinar Q&A

With regards to pre-employment testing. If someone has declared they’re taking medicinal cannabis, are we able to notify to determine cbd:thc ratio?

The laboratory does not currently determine the level of CBD present in a sample. This could be relevant for oral fluid where detection is more closely aligned with impairment. While we have nothing to announce at this stage, we are constantly working to improve our service offerings to clients.

We have a Zero Tolerance policy which was previously provided to us by Safework Health.  Should this be updated/replaced by a Zero Harm policy and can Safework help with a template for this?

Your drug and alcohol policy should be tailored to your requirements. There are some industries where a zero-tolerance approach is correct, for example where public safety is involved or where there is a high risk of catastrophic failure in the event of an accident or incident. Your policy can be reviewed in light of your requirements.

Could it be considered discrimination not to employ people with a medicinal cannabis prescription?

Yes, it is possible that it may be considered discrimination if the deciding factor in the decision was their medicinal cannabis prescription.

Any feedback on how the insurers (motor vehicles) are viewing potential changes to road use and (potential) impairment?

Currently, the presence of THC in blood can be used as evidence for prosecution purposes and may also affect vehicle and personal injury insurance claims. We would suggest contacting your insurer to determine their policy on medicinal cannabis in relation to their insurance products.

Is there a way to determine if the medication is being misused? i.e. a level above which the result must be misused? Are you able to test and differentiate between prescribed dosage and use against misuse of cannabis?

There are methods of determining if the result of a confirmed drug test are in-line with levels expected. The determination can be complex and will require additional information on the donor and their age/sex/height/weight. Dosage and frequency of use and time since last dose. Urine THC levels can be used as a rule-out assay – i.e., this level is or is not consistent with the stated dosage.

So, since THC accumulates with use, and doing a series of tests would allow you to determine if the THC is being used in therapeutic values, would employers be required to do a series of tests before making a determination about whether an employee is using their medication appropriately and legally?

The testing regime is up to the employer, and how their policy handles medications. It may be beneficial to monitor an employee who has recently started taking medicinal cannabis to establish a baseline response. Interpretation of results should be performed by someone with appropriate training and experience.

If a GP provides a letter and the worker then misuses the medication, and isn’t being regularly tested as the GP has provided confirmation of the prescribed meds and then is involved in an incident and found to be affected by the medication, where does liability sit – with the worker, the employer or the GP?

A fiduciary duty of care implies all these agents share some responsibility for the worker’s designation as being ‘fit-for-work’. There is an expectation however, that the reviewing Medical Officer’s opinion will be paramount – so if the GP says the worker is fit, the primary responsibility would lie with the MO. Note that if the worker abuses the prescribed dosage (i.e., takes excess) and shows clear evidence of impairment, then the workplace must assume primary responsibility for not intervening and instituting some for a review/Testing On Suspicion/Testing for Cause.

What if there is no option in terms of other duties and the employee is taking THC?

In such a case, it is important that the worker’s prescribed THC regimen is reviewed by a doctor – ideally an OHS physician or at least the worker’s prescribing MO certifying that the worker is fit for work. Medicinal THC should ideally only be taken >8 hrs before working – especially when dealing with safety-critical areas. CBD has no significant impairing effects apart from occasional tiredness within < 2 hrs of use. Workers taking THC should also be careful not to take benzodiazepines  < 10 hrs prior to working, as THC enhances the sedative effect.

Is there going to be clear guidance on CBD in safety critical roles and workplaces?

CBD, unlike THC, is NOT associated with impairment, apart from (i) transient drowsiness experienced by a minority of workers only within the first 2 hours after use; and (ii) possible worsening of low blood pressure (hypotension) in people with pre-existing low blood pressure. Essentially – CBD is safe.

Could we just get a letter from their doctor to state if they can continue doing their normal duties – similar to a suitable duties/restricted duties plan?

A letter from the prescribing Doctor declaring they are fit for work is a good first start, however depending on their role/responsibilities there may still be an issue if a non-negative result is returned for THC.

What is stopping someone who is a regular user to go online and get a medical subscription for work purposes?

Medicinal cannabis should only be prescribed where no other valid form of treatment is available. There is anecdotal evidence that people have moved from illicit/black-market cannabis to medicinal cannabis prescriptions.

When asked about medicinal cannabis use, now being “legal” and how we treat this in the workplace, I equate it with alcohol – its legal, but we don’t allow people to come to work under the influence. Is this is a fair analogy, or would you recommend something else?

Yes, this is a fair analogy, as a society we have determined that a 0.05 BAC is an acceptable risk to health and safety. At some point an equivalent level will likely be set for THC. It is worth noting that even at 0.05 BAC there is a level of impairment present.

Are we saying there shouldn’t be a concern of impairment or safety risks if someone has been prescribed CBD through TGA and has a prescription and is taking the prescribed medication? If it is not through the TGA and just a prescription from a local GP or online, would this be different?

All medicinal cannabis prescriptions in Australia are provided through the TGA’s Special Access Scheme (SAS) and must be filled by a Pharmacist. Consultations can be held online, but the prescription must be filled in person. When taken as prescribed, CBD should not have a concern of impairment. It is worth noting that there is a window of around 2 hours post use where CBD can cause sleepiness. This should be taken into consideration by the prescribing doctor.

What would you determine as a safety critical role assessment?

This would depend on the employer’s Drug & Alcohol Monitoring Policy – it would be their decision as to what activities constitute a high-safety risk, and what level of risk they deem acceptable (i.e., zero-use/tolerance vs harm reduction). Safety-risk assessments would include a review of the worker’s current medications and health status (any possible complicating medical conditions).

Are mining companies moving towards Zero Harm re THC in this regard?

Yes – there is a general tendency to move towards ‘zero harm’ policies over simple ‘zero tolerance’. This means the focus is set on impairment rather than detection of an episode of prior use (w.r.t. THC – not amphetamine/meth where any detectable amount is consistent with being affected).

Is there a code of practice being developed to govern the changes in industry? There is certainly greater Fair Work issues at play other than just operating impaired.

Not currently, but industry policy groups, Health & Safety Forums and relevant industry OHS committees are seeking advice about addressing the issue. Most employer groups are seeking consultation from drug testing agencies about the issue and are incorporating provisions to their Drug & Alcohol Management Policies to ensure that medicinal cannabis use can be managed within the framework of handling prescription medication whilst maintaining workplace safety. The various State and Commonwealth legislatures are reviewing the legal situation, so the current situation may change.

Would it be acceptable that there is a requirement to declare use of medicinal cannabis to a health professional at a remote operational site?

It is important to maintain privacy for the employee, however trained medical professionals should be authorised to receive this information and provide advice in relation to an employee’s fitness for duty.

On prescribed cannabis, are they labelled the category they fit into? 1, 2, 3 etc?

Medicinal cannabis products are not directly labelled with the category, but this can be determined from the stated level of THC and/or CBD. Please contact Safework Health if you would like help with determining the category.

Just to confirm, if someone provides a negative result on an oral fluid test then we can be comfortable that they are not impaired?

Yes, if an on-site oral fluid test is negative there is no reason to suspect impairment by THC.

Is it possible to determine through a set level of THC/CBD would impact cognitive function in a worker? Or level of impairment?

There have been numerous studies attempting to correlate a level of THC with impairment. To the best of our knowledge there is no consensus on what level of THC constitutes impairment across all people. Additional studies will be required to do this.

How does the TCH Free CBD prescription vs Traces of THC in CBD Prescriptions?

Category 1 (>98% CBD) should have levels of THC well below that detectable by either oral fluid or urine screens. The allowable limits are set to cover manufacturers of medicinal cannabis products, since complete removal of THC cannot be guaranteed. If/when medicinal cannabis preparations receive TGA approval, the requirements around other components will likely tighten.

And are people under any obligation to disclose they have a prescription?

This depends on the specific work contract involved. If the contract includes a provision to inform the appropriate supervisor if they’re taking prescribed medications which might potentially lead to impairment, then they would have to do so. However, there is no general legislated obligation to disclose.

Impairment seems an irrelevant argument. The line in the sand is the level set by the Standard isn’t it?

Employers have an overriding fiduciary duty of care to maintain a safe workplace and minimise the risk of injury and death among their workers, regardless of the provisions of the Standard – so amending their DAMPs is advisable.

If we were to rely on a Dr letter stating “fit for normal duties”, surely this would need to from an Occupational Physician who understands industry work roles and what they entail?

Ideally, yes – or by any accredited Toxicological authority. However, it may not be practical (limited availability) and a thorough review by a competent GP (with appropriate toxicological advice) would be sufficient in the majority of cases.

How does THC Free CBD vs THC traces compare in use and legality especially in Health Professionals?

There are no restrictions placed on CBD use – it is not associated with impairment. This requires that the THC content of the medication be < 2%.

What is the rigor on checks / balances by TGA on the providers of CBD?

Currently the TGA does not assess the validity of the purity/content claims for the overwhelming majority of medicinal cannabis preparations and relies on the manufacturer purity claims. For this reason it is advisable that workers be encouraged to use only reputable brand preparations – e.g. Cannatrek etc.

What’s the age limit for using?

The lower age limit – save in exceptional cases such as reducing nausea from chemotherapy for cancer – is 18 yrs. There is no upper limit for medicinal cannabis prescription.

Watch The Webinar

Did you miss the webinar? Don’t worry, you can watch a replay of the webinar on our Webinars and Events page.

WATCH: Medicinal Cannabis in the Workplace Webinar

Watch this webinar to learn how to manage medicinal cannabis and its impact on the workplace.

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Watch this webinar to learn how to navigate the dynamic realm of medicinal cannabis and its impact on the workplace.

With the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and shifting attitudes towards its use, it’s crucial for businesses to stay informed and adapt their policies accordingly.

Watch this interactive webinar to gain valuable insights and practical strategies to effectively manage medicinal cannabis-related challenges in your workplace.

Nathan Brown, National Chief Scientist at Safework Health, delves into:

  • What medicinal cannabis is, prescription rates, and potential impacts
  • Real-world case studies showcasing how Australian businesses have begun managing medicinal cannabis
  • Best practices for implementing policies and ensuring workplace safety

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If you’re interested in learning more about how to manage medicinal cannabis in your workplace, please email info@swhealth.com.au or call 1300 795 227.

Don’t Miss Our Upcoming Webinars!

Check out our Webinars and Events page to find out more information about our upcoming webinars.

You can also keep in touch with what is happening at Safework Health through our LinkedIn page.

Join Our Medicinal Cannabis in the Workplace Webinar

Register for our webinar for strategies to manage workplace challenges related to medicinal cannabis.

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Learn how to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of medicinal cannabis and its impact on the workplace.

With the legalisation of medicinal cannabis and shifting attitudes towards its use, it’s crucial for businesses to stay informed and adapt their policies accordingly.

Join our upcoming webinar to gain valuable insights and practical strategies to effectively manage medicinal cannabis-related challenges in your workplace.

Date: Wednesday, 9 August 2023
Time: 11:00 AM AEST
Cost: Free

Why should you attend?

  • Expert Insights: Our speaker will share his in-depth knowledge and experience, shedding light on the legal, regulatory and HR implications of cannabis in the workplace.  During this interactive session, he will delve into what medicinal cannabis is, prescription rates in Australia, potential impacts, and the importance of having a robust drug and alcohol policy.
  • Case Studies: Learn from real-world examples as our speaker presents compelling case studies showcasing how Australian businesses have begun managing medicinal cannabis in their workplaces. Gain insights into best practices, policies, and strategies employed to ensure a safe and compliant work environment.
  • Interactive Discussion: Engage in a live Q&A session with our speaker and fellow attendees. Share your thoughts, ask burning questions, and gain multiple perspectives from professionals across various industries.

Meet Our Webinar Speaker

Nathan Brown
National Chief Scientist at Safework Health


We’re Moving! Our New Port Hedland Home

Our Port Hedland clinic has moved to a more convenient location..

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We’re excited to announce that we’re relocating our Port Hedland occupational health clinic to a more convenient location at 150 Anderson Street.

Safework Health is proud to have been operating in Port Hedland since 2012.

The new, larger premises will support our growing number of clients and staff in the Pilbara region.

Expanded Occupational Health Services

The move also allows us to increase the range of services we offer to our clients, which includes:

  • drug and alcohol testing (walk-in and on-site)
  • pre-employment drug and alcohol testing
  • pre employment medicals
  • hair follicle drug testing
  • laboratory testing
  • drug and alcohol courses
  • policy development
  • health surveillance

Visit Us

From 1 May 2023, we’ll be located at:

Port Hedland Boulevard
150 Anderson Street, Shop 5
Port Hedland WA 6721

Ample free parking is available at the shopping centre.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new Port Hedland home soon!

Enquire Now

To make a booking or for more information, please call us on 1300 795 227 or email us at info@swhealth.com.au

We’ve Acquired MSG Health in Adelaide

We’ve acquired MSG Health, an Adelaide occupational health business.

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We’re excited to announce that we have joined forces with MSG Health, a trusted occupational health business founded at Adelaide Airport in 2008.

The acquisition means we can deliver more value to our clients who will benefit from a wider range of services and locations.

From 1 May 2023, MSG Health will be known as Safework Health and the business will be located at Unit 6 / 2 Graham Street, Adelaide Airport.

About MSG Health

MSG Health brings to Safework Health over 15 years of experience providing occupational medicine services, pre-employment medical tests, drug and alcohol testing services, work injury management and employee risk assessments.

Currently servicing some of Australia and Adelaide’s largest recruitment agencies along with private mining and resource companies, the staff at MSG Health have an excellent understanding of how important the successful delivery of these services is to our clients.

The team recognise it is crucial for employers to have their potential and existing employees’ capacity and fitness assessed for their proposed job role or ongoing roles with their employer. This includes comprehensive feedback and a fast turnaround.

Visit Us

From 1 May 2023, we will be located at Unit 6 / 2 Graham Street, Adelaide Airport SA 5950.

Enquire Now

To book an appointment or for more information, please call us on 08 8355 9400 or email us at reception@medicalsynergy.com.au

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