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