The Drug Detection Agency is stepping up efforts against workplace drug and alcohol use in Waikato, with new owners Graeme and Leona Smith keen to create safe work and living environments.
Graeme and Leona Smith bought the Waikato-Coromandel arm of the agency recently and, together with a team of 10, provide a comprehensive range of drug and alcohol testing, workplace policy design and training services throughout the region.
With a fleet of four purpose-fitted mobile testing vehicles on the road, eliminating the risks associated with drug and alcohol in the workplace is now easier for business owners and managers, with TDDA providing a complete solution for all workplace drug policy, education and testing needs.
“What we do is not about judging people who use drugs or alcohol. It’s about creating safe environments for everyone. Changes to the Health and Safety at Work Act this year means the onus is on employers and directors like never before to ensure working environments are safe,” Graeme said.
The Smiths plan to grow the business, add to the team and get more vehicles on the road by the end of the year to provide the best possible service and support across the region as the demand for Drug and Alcohol Management activity increases.
“With laws changing and new drugs flooding on to the market, these services are becoming more important for businesses of all sizes,” said Graeme.
“TDDA is a global authority on testing standards and delivering the best services to clients. We have representatives on the world Drug and Alcohol Industry Testing Association as well as the Australia/NZ standards committees.
“I have experience with drug and alcohol policy and implementation in my previous work in the agriculture sector and it felt right to be on the other side of that,” Graeme said.
After 30 years leadership in the agriculture sector for companies such as Ballance Agri Nutrients and Hamilton’s Gallagher Group, Graeme is pleased to be part of an agency considered a market leader throughout Australasia.
Leona’s experience in senior administration, including time as executive assistance to a former Hamilton Mayor, event management, sales and sponsorship and community work. She also is currently sitting two boards and is involved in many community projects.
Others on TDDA’s team in Waikato include operations manager Jennie King, accredited testers Billy Kells and Rick Solomon, Herb Broughton, Caleb Matamana, Todd Goodwin, along with new staff members, Julie Smyth and Laura Warner.
“We have a range of experience in the team with former prison guards, police and corporate backgrounds amongst the staff.”
On the innovation front TDDA was the first to offer synthetic cannabis testing in Australasia and has developed two new, world-first mobile apps – one designed as a workplace management tool and the other designed to better inform and educate parents and home owners in the community about drugs, their effects and how to identify their use.
TDDA’s mobile service means less downtime for businesses and the agency’s screening and confirmation testing processes ensures clients have minimal exposure to legal challenges.
On-site drug and alcohol testing can prevent delays from between 48 hours to as long as a week in obtaining a result from a laboratory, which is both disruptive and costly to the company and the employee.
TDDA vans have been designed to have the added versatility of being overt or covert, where all signage can be removed before arriving at the workplace if required.
TDDA was launched in 2005 to supply a specialised service to companies conducting workplace drug and alcohol testing or looking at doing so.
Since then the agency has worked to ensure compliance to the drug testing standard AS/NZS 4308:2008 and in 2010 became the first and only national workplace drug testing company in New Zealand to have received IANZ ISO 15189 accreditation to the standard.
In 2011, after demand from clients, TDDA expanded into Australia, replicating systems and processes and gaining further accreditation from the National Association of Testing Authorities in Australia.
“This has been significant as we are now the only New Zealand and Australian drug testing provider to have accreditation from both IANZ and NATA respectively for both AS/NZS 4308:2008 (NZ, Aus) and AS 4760-2006 (Aus) drug testing standards,” said Graeme.
The agency now has 40 branches throughout Australasia, providing knowledge about the illicit drug industry and its negative effects.
“TDDA has forged an excellent reputation with clients through world-class services are we are pleased to be part of that. When you deal with TDDA you can be confident you are getting services offering superior methodology, an adaptable attitude and people who genuinely care about what they do,” Graeme said.
Waikato Business News