Mining companies will soon have access to a more extensive drug testing kit after a year of research into synthetic cannabinoids like Kronic.
QML Pathology Biochemistry and Toxicology director Dr Charles Appleton said the tests would provide companies with a more thorough way of screening its employees, CQ News reported.
“We are about to release onsite test cups so (clients) can do the screening for all of these substances at the workplace," Dr Appleton said.
"At the moment, the mass spectrometry confirmation is very costly and so employers will only test a handful of their workers.
"This screening test will make it likely they will test many more."
Appleton said current forms of testing only identified what he calls ‘conventional drugs’ like cocaine, opiates, cannabis, benzodiazepines and amphetamines.
Kronic has reportedly been a serious issue at mine sites across Australia, particularly in NSW, QLD and Western Australia, where recent tested showed that nearly one in ten miners had used Kronic.
While synthetic cannabis products popular in the mining industry were banned last year, their availability online and at local stores means workers can still access the drug.
The products are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana, and are much harder to detect in routine drug checks.
Appleton said high-risk industries such as mining and airlines welcomed the tests because they wanted to "protect their staff and their investment".