Plans for Drug and Alcohol testing to be enforced in the workplace

February 22, 2013 4:36 pm

Plans to introduce Drug and Alcohol testing are to be put forward by Birmingham City Council in the next few days, following the residential treatment program implementation.

Tdrug testinghe corporate Health and safety committee say their aim is to implement and launch these policies with an emphasis on raising awareness and education about alcohol, drug and substance misuse.

Around 5% of the UK’s working population actively use drugs, according to the Government’s latest British Crime Survey. The survey also stated that alcohol concern in 2012 estimated lost productivity and absenteeism, due to alcohol costing the economy approximately 14 million working days and £6.4 billion per year.

Testing is said to only be considered where a role has been identified as safety critical.

Employees must give their informed consent in writing to any test that is undergone, and testing is only to be put in place after all informal approaches have been exhausted. The new plan aims to add this into employee’s contracts, making testing mandatory if requested by the employer. It is crucial for new, and even current employees, to read the page of their contracts concerning drugs and testing fully before signing if they have objections. If employees refuse a test, the employer has the right to enforce a disciplinary procedure.

Analyses of tests are to be undertaken at a laboratory accredited by the appropriate regulations and tests will be used to indicate drug or alcohol levels. The Alcohol and Substance misuse report says that ‘Evidence shows that when people have even a small amount of alcohol in their blood their ability, performance and judgment can be impaired.’

The meeting to introduce this plan is set to take place on the 19th of February 2013.

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