In order to ensure that the performance of all safety critical personnel is not adversely affected by either drugs or alcohol, the Directors of AB2K Ltd. have implemented and maintain this Drugs and Alcohol Policy which meets the requirements of Network Rail’s Company Standard NR/L1/OHS/051, Railway Group Standard RIS-8070-TOM, London Underground QUENSH Requirements and the Transport at Works Act 1992. This Policy is brought to the attention of all personnel and is enacted through compliance with our Integrated Management System.
All personnel are prohibited from misusing either drugs or alcohol; this means personnel are not permitted to:
- Consume alcohol or any controlled substance whilst on duty;
- Report for duty whilst under the influence of alcohol – this means that you must start work with a zero or near-zero alcohol level. In order to achieve this you must not consume any alcohol in the 8 hours immediately preceding the beginning of your shift and should not consume more than 7 units of alcohol (approximately 3 ½ pints of normal strength beer or larger) in the 16 hours immediately preceding the beginning of your shift;
- Consume any controlled substance which includes as a minimum the following drugs or drug groups – amphetamines (speed), cannabis, cocaine, benzodiazepines (valium etc.), methadone, opiates, mdma (ecstasy), propoxyphene;
- Consume substances which are legal in themselves but are subject to misuse such as glues, solvents, etc.;
- Report for duty whilst under the influence of medicines, obtained with or without prescription, which can affect performance at work – examples include tranquillisers, antidepressants, sleeping pills, some antihistamines for hay fever, some medicines for coughs, colds and indigestion.
All personnel are also prohibited from:
- Purchasing alcohol and/or entering licensed premises when wearing any item of company branded clothing, particularly a hi-visibility vest.
- Purchasing alcohol and/or entering licensed premises whilst on duty;
- Storing or transporting alcohol in a company vehicle whilst on duty.
The consumption of drugs and alcohol can adversely affect performance by inhibiting reactions and prejudicing judgement. In essence this means that an affected person either:
- Is excessively slow and suffers from problems with their balance (typically “drunk” or “stoned” behaviour) resulting in them trying to take excessive care but often ending in disaster;
- Becomes fast and reckless (typically “speedy” behaviour) resulting in them performing tasks too quickly and without the proper consideration of safety issues and other task related factors;
- Reacts to stimuli that are not real or even apparent to others (typically hallucinogenic or “trippy” behaviour) resulting in them behaving in an extremely unpredictable and highly unsafe manner.
Furthermore the regular and/or prolonged consumption of drugs and alcohol produces changes in:
- The chemical composition of the brain;
- The body’s physiology resulting in changes to the composition of cells and the functioning of vital organs.
Both of these factors can lead to a dependency on the substance(s) consumed; this is true of alcohol and prescription drugs as well as illicit drugs.
In order to be certain that you do not inadvertently breach the drugs and alcohol policy always:
- Inform your doctor and/or pharmacist that you work on the railways and ask them if the drug you are acquiring will effect performance and if so if there is an alternative which will not affect performance or which has less severe effects;
- Report to your line manager any prescription or over-the-counter drug either before, or as soon as is practicable after you start, to take it;
- Do not drink any alcohol in the 8 hours immediately preceding the beginning of your shift and should not consume more than 7 units of alcohol (approximately 3 ½ pints of normal strength beer or larger) in the 16 hours immediately preceding the beginning of your shift;
- Be careful not to consume alcohol you do not know the strength of;
- Do not consume any medication offered to you by anyone you do not know or trust even if they claim it to merely be paracetamol;
- Leave food or drink unattended in the presence of individuals whom you do not know or trust.
All personnel are required to disclose to their line manager and/or the Human Resources department their actual or suspected consumption of any illicit drug or prescription drug. This disclosure is to be made as soon as is practicable after the event and in all circumstances prior to accepting and/or reporting for a turn of duty. No disciplinary action will be taken against any person making such a voluntary disclosure provided all relevant information is provided in a timely manner. AB2K Ltd. will arrange for enquiries to be made regarding the potential effects of the drug with a RISQS approved medical advisor and will roster the personnel for duty in light of the advice given. Any person who fails to make such a disclosure is liable to instant dismissal and will be reported to London Underground Limited and Sentinel which will result in the withdrawal of their Sentinel card rendering them ineligible for work on the Infrastructure(s).
After accepting a turn of duty all personnel are required to disclose to their line manager and/or the Human Resources department their actual or suspected consumption of any illicit drug, prescription drug or alcohol prior to reporting for duty. If we are so informed then the individual may, at the discretion of the Managing Director, be subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the incident disclosed. The Human Resources Manager will arrange for enquiries to be made regarding the potential effects of the drug with a RISQS approved medical advisor and will roster the personnel for duty in light of the advice given.
All personnel are required to disclose to their line manager and/or the Human Resources department any person whom they know or suspect of consuming any illicit drug, prescription drug or alcohol either prior to, or during, a turn of duty as soon as is practicable after they become aware of such consumption. Any person who knowingly fails to make such a disclosure may, at the discretion of the Managing Director, be subject to disciplinary action commensurate with the incident left undisclosed.
Any person suspected of reporting for, a turn of duty whilst under the influence of any illicit drug, prescription drug or alcohol will be subjected to “for-cause” drugs and alcohol screening and suspended from duty pending the results of such screening. Any person who fails such screening will be reported to London Underground Limited and Sentinel which will result in the withdrawal of their Sentinel card rendering them ineligible for work on the Infrastructure(s).
Disclosures (both personal and third party) made to us will be treated in the strictest confidence. Any person volunteering information on their own misuse of drugs or alcohol will be offered support and encouraged to contact and/or be referred to an organisation which can offer ongoing counselling, support and treatment. Any person who undertakes such counselling, support and treatment will be allowed to return to duty subject to the results of drugs and alcohol screening, and may be further subjected to a regime of ongoing screening until such time as the Managing Director is satisfied that they no longer represent an increased risk to the potential safe interworking on the Infrastructure(s).
All personnel who feel that they have been unfairly treated, or who maintain that they did not consensually misuse any drug or alcohol are permitted to appeal against any disciplinary action taken against them but will be suspended from duty pending the results of such an appeal.
All personnel are liable to Drugs and Alcohol Screening to be undertaken by a medical practitioner nominated by the Company to ensure they are free from the influence of any drug or alcohol. All personnel must submit to such screening in the following circumstances:
Pre-Employment: prior to employment;
Unannounced Random: whenever required at unspecified intervals and with no prior notice or warning;
For Cause: as required and directed when there is reasonable cause or concern that an individual is not compliant with the stipulated requirements for Drugs and Alcohol or if an individual is involved in an accident, incident or near miss. Under the provisions of the Transport and Works Act 1992 any positive “for cause” screening will be binding but any person returning a negative result must submit to further “for cause” screening undertaken by a medical practitioner nominated by the Company to verify the negative result obtained.
Refusal to submit to Drugs and Alcohol Screening will be regarded as providing a positive result. The case will be managed in accordance with the company disciplinary procedures and be reported to London Underground Limited and Sentinel resulting in the withdrawal of an individual’s Sentinel Card rendering them ineligible for work on the Infrastructure(s).
The results of all Drug and alcohol Screening will be recorded directly on the sentinel system and can be viewed online by the individual.
Reviewed By: Melanie Webb
John Murphy, Date: 2nd June 2021
Managing Director Date of Next Review: 8th June 2021