Demystifying The New Drug Testing Standard AS/NZS 4308:2023

Introducing the latest benchmark in workplace urine drug testing: AS/NZS 4308:2023. This new standard marks a significant departure from its predecessor, AS/NZS 4308:2008, bringing about key changes that have implications for your workplace drug testing program.

Delve into the details to better understand the modifications and their impact on your workplace.

About AS/NZS 4308:2023

AS/NZS 4308:2023 sets the benchmark for procedures concerning urine specimen collection, storage, handling, onsite drug screening tests, and dispatch to a laboratory. It’s a vital resource for maintaining best practices in drug testing.

Unveiling 3 Key Shifts in Workplace Drug Testing

  1. The first key change is a DECREASE in the screening cut-off for cocaine metabolites, from 300 ug/L down to 150 ug/L, and a corresponding drop in the confirmatory cut-off from 150 ug/L down to 100 ug/L. This should result in more detections on-site, along with confirmatory testing being more likely to match the initial screening result.
  2. The second key change is a DECREASE in the confirmatory cut-off levels for Benzodiazepine metabolites, from 200 ug/L down to 100 ug/L. This will reduce the likelihood of a non-negative on-site screen returning a confirmed negative confirmation due to a mixture of metabolites being present in the urine with no individual component over 200 ug/L. Screening cut-offs for Benzodiazepines remain at 200 ug/L.
  3. The third key change is allowing laboratories to report parent/metabolite drug(s) that are detected below the cut-off, but between the laboratories limits of quantitation (LOQ) and the cut-off, where another drug/metabolite has been detected above the cut-off. For example, when amphetamine is detected in a sample and a low level of Methamphetamine is present, that Methamphetamine result will additionally be reported to aid in the interpretation of results.

Other minor changes/additions include:

  • Expanded reference to Informed Consent in relation to scope of testing.
  • Centralised QC testing of devices at the main storage site, as opposed to on -site prior to testing.
  • Allowances for Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) based screening of drugs, with cut-offs as per confirmatory methods.
  • Oxycodone has specified cutoffs for screening and confirmation, but is not included in the main testing panel.

Implementation Timeline

AS/NZS 4308:2023 also introduces a crossover period for 3 years where both standards are in effect, allowing manufacturers, laboratories, and collection agencies to implement changes when devices, laboratory procedures and processes have been updated to meet the new requirements.

Discover More

A Safework Health representative is available to discuss the upcoming changes and the proposed timeline for implementation. Contact our team today!

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