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#149455 - 10/04/03 01:38 AM Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8560
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I read an article in the latest trade rag that suggested that a few large employers in the Electrical Industry here (mainly Lines Companies) want to institute a system of regularly testing thier employees for evidence of Drugs and Alcohol in thier systems, anyone that failed, would be sent home and would not be re-hired until they tested negative.
What do you guys think of this?.
Considering that the limit of alcohol was not mentioned, I reckon that this may be open to a "Kangaroo Court system", being started up, to punish workers that Management don't like, after all, there was no mention of WHO would be doing the actual testing of the Urine samples.
Sure it may be good for Workplace Safety, but, this could also be used as a tool to dismiss perfectly good employees, after a good night out.
Am I just being paranoid?.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools
#149456 - 10/04/03 03:49 AM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
Pinemarten Offline
Registered: 08/23/03
Posts: 122
Loc: Edmonton, AB, Canada
It has been a common practice in Canada for years to test for drugs. Everyone got used to it.
Booze is another story. Since it is legal they can't punish you unless you go beyond a set limit like driving. .05 or .08 are illegal to drive here. .05 is 24hr no crime. .08 is 'the big one'.
Companies are afraid to 'post' a limit on booze that is lower than the legal limit to drive. They mostly want the dope-smokers to be dealt with.
The testing here is always random, and includes managers. That may be another reason they only test for dope.
#149457 - 10/04/03 04:45 AM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
Trumpy Offline

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8560
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Here's a mildly interesting story that I can relate to with respect to drug testing.
When I first learn't how to use an Insulated EWP (Bucket Truck), we never had Dual controls on the things, the guy down below used to manueovre(sp?) the bucket up into the lines.
Anyway Paul(not his real name!), came to work after a hard weekend on the booze at the trots and he drove the EWP truck out to the site no problem, Hotty and I were in the bucket and Paul couldn't even find the pole, let alone the lines.
Ever been on an "Octopus" amusement ride?.
That's just what it was like!!!.
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin
#149458 - 10/06/03 11:19 AM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
electech Offline
Registered: 02/18/02
Posts: 113
Loc: Northern Il
I used to work for an employer that had random drug (including alcohol) testing per FAA mandate. I always found it amusing that they didn't also have competency testing. Guess its OK to be an idiot, as long as your not a drunken idiot...
#149459 - 10/06/03 06:30 PM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
ThinkGood Offline
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI

I know that when applying for employment via most unions, drug testing is mandatory. As to alchohol, I'm not certain, but if operating a motor vehicle is required, then obviously the respective state's DUI/DWI laws would apply.

electech mentioned the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). There's been plenty of buzz (oooh, 2 puns there...) lately about intoxicated pilots!

P. S. Trumpy:
after a hard weekend on the booze at the trots

Translation, please? The one I found here says "the trots" is diarrhea.

P. P. S. manouevre or maneuver (US).
#149460 - 10/06/03 07:20 PM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
spkjpr Offline
Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 226
Loc: Sedalia,MO, USA
The industry I work at has a policy that if you are involved in an accident that injures someone or causes property damage it is an automatic drug test. Any holder of a CDL license is also subject to a random drug test. Trumpy, the wife is involved with doing pre-employ drug tests. There is a very strict chain of command involved with the samples. I would think it would have to be done in a certified lab and none of them would risk the trouble it would cause to get involved in a "Kangaroo Court" scenerio.
#149461 - 10/06/03 08:27 PM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
Ryan_J Offline
Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1355
Loc: West Jordan, Utah, USA
Let me start by saying that I am a big believer in drug/alcohol tests. My problem is that, in my experience, they aren't very random. Example: I guarantee you will not see one during a large job that is behind deadline. You will see them when times are slow and its time to start laying-off guys.
Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
#149462 - 10/07/03 03:24 AM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
sparky Offline
Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
gee, guess all those 'sript drugs are ok then ?
my personal best is running into an individual on 42 simutaneous meds

but hey, who am i, a lowly emt, to try and define what drugs are detrimental in the workforce?
#149463 - 10/07/03 07:32 AM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
pauluk Offline
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7693
Loc: Norfolk, England
Anyway Paul(not his real name!)

I should hope not!

I'm not quite sure where I stand on this issue. I can see that you don't want anyone under the influence working machinery or being in a position where his impairment could compromise the safety of others.

At the same time though, I'm not sure I like the idea of just picking on somebody and demanding an alcohol/drug test without reasonable cause to suspect that he may be under the influence.

As mentioned above, there's also the point that for alcohol it isn't really as clear cut as the typical DUI specifications make it sound (by the way, the BAL limit for driving in the U.K. is 0.08%).

P.P.S. manouevre or maneuver (US).

That first spelling should be manoeuvre, where the "oe" can be written as a dipthong. This is also the most usual spelling in Britain.

[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 10-07-2003).]
#149464 - 10/09/03 09:48 AM Re: Employee Drug/Alcohol testing?
ThinkGood Offline
Registered: 08/07/02
Posts: 1084
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
"Look that up in your Funk & Wagnalls!"



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