In an unfair dismissal proceeding before the Fair Work Commission, a worker’s contention that a surge of adrenalin contributed to his positive drug test has been rejected by the Fair Work Commission. A fire was started in the course of his work, after which he was subjected to a mandatory drug test, via a saliva swab, and tested positive to cannabis. He was subsequently dismissed.
The worker argued that surge of adrenalin (such as he experienced during the fire ) could cause THC (cannabis's main intoxicating ingredient) that was stored in a person's fat to be released into the bloodstream, causing a false high reading in drug tests.
The Commission found that the worker "The worker was subjected to a saliva swab test, not a blood test, so data relating to levels of THC in blood being increased by an adrenalin surge are of no persuasive value. He failed to follow the procedures mandated by his training and "acted in a manner which put himself in danger”.
The Commission found that his dismissal was not unfair and the application was dismissed.