We work in a very dangerous environment with knives and machinery and want to implement a drug & alcohol policy that would allow for random, with cause and pre-employment testing. Can we do this with Union agreement and without the consent of each employee?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 May 2012
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Health and safety considerations are very important in circumstances such as this as employers have, under common law and statute, a duty to ensure, so far as practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. Therefore, while drug and alcohol testing is often a controversial and sensitive issue (including raising human rights considerations), it can be acceptable if it is part of an organisation’s health policy and clearly designed to prevent risks to the misuser and others. For example, if this employer allowed a person under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol to continue working with knives and machinery, it could be in breach of its duty of care by putting the

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email rosemary.lundy@arthurcox.com

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