1. PURPOSE

    To ensure that Pendersons complies with the requirements of Railway Group Standard RIS-8070-TOM and Network Rail Standard NR/L1/OHS/051 and in doing so minimises the risks associated with staff working under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    This policy includes the management of pre-employment, for-cause and random unannounced drugs and alcohol testing.

    2. SCOPE

    This policy applies to all Pendersons staff and all subcontractors will be expected to comply with its requirements.


    3.1 Companies subcontracted to Pendersons will be required to demonstrate adherence to this procedure.

    3.2 Any employee or subcontractor who is suspected of abusing the Drugs and Alcohol Policy will be stood down immediately and removed from the infrastructure and subject to investigation and screening.

    A positive result will lead to a disciplinary hearing.

    Where gross misconduct is proven then dismissal will follow.

    3.3 Pendersons personnel who work on track or are involved in the delivery of any Railway related services are subject to the following types of screening;

  • Pre-Employment, (mandatory, regardless of references)
  • For Cause drugs and alcohol testing (contract with Healthcare Connection contract Jan – Dec renewed annually)
  • Random Unannounced Screening
  • On first transfer to a safety critical post or Personal Track Safety
  • 3.4 Any employee may be subjected to ‘for-cause’ screening;

  • Following an accident/incident where there is suspicion that the consumption of drugs or alcohol impaired safety systems or contributed to the accident/incident
  • Where an employee’s behaviour gives grounds to suspect they may be unfit for work due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol
  • As part of an on-going treatment monitoring programme
  • The company will also comply with any reasonable request by Network Rail or any client for screening of an employee.
  • 3.5 Any employee subjected to ‘for cause’ screening will be suspended from duty until the test results are known.

    3.6 All personnel will be part of a random unannounced screening process.

    This process will be conducted by a Network Rail and RISQS Approved provider.

    This random unannounced screening programme process will annually test at least 5% of Pendersons staff who work on the railway infrastructure or hold PTS.

    3.7 Any positive result at the pre-employment stage will result in the relevant person not being considered for employment.

    Failure of a random unannounced screening or for cause screening will result in the relevant individual being considered guilty of gross misconduct and their dismissal without notice.

    Any refusal to undergo screening for drugs and alcohol shall be treated as a positive result.

    Appeals against these will be undertaken if requested by the individual to a Director.

    3.8 Sentinel/Network Rail will be informed of all positive results.

    Pendersons maintains a Disqualified Register of persons who have been refused employment or committed railway transgressions, including drugs and alcohol.

    The Disqualified Register is kept indefinitely in a locked cabinet.

    Both the Disqualified Register and Sentinel database are checked prior to considering any prospective employee.

    3.9 A record of all drugs and alcohol tests is recorded and kept for at least 10 years or indefinitely for positive results, and will include the name of the person tested, the date of the test, the reason for the test and the test result.

    These records and the D&A testing process are subject to both internal monitoring by the Directors and external audits such as the RISQS annual assessment.

    Internal monitoring of records is achieved by random sampling of records to ensure required testing has been carried out and that records are complete.

    3.10 The Company Drugs and Alcohol Policy is briefed and given to all personnel upon induction into employment with Pendersons.

    Personnel sign a declaration that they have read, understood and accepted compliance with the arrangements.

    3.11 Sub-Contractors will be issued the Company Drugs and Alcohol Policy and must confirm that they comply with it before they can carry out any work for Pendersons.

    3.12 Any use of prescribed or over-the-counter medicine must be reported to a Director or Compliance Manager prior to commencement of work and form P05F02 completed.

    The Director or Manager will then seek advice from a competent medical authority to determine if the medicine could affect the ability of the person to carry out their duties.

    Where this is identified as possible then that person shall not commence safety critical work.

    The Individual will be asked to, where relevant, consult his General Practitioner and use alternative medication.

    The completed form will be kept on the employees file.

    3.13 It is the responsibility of the Director and all Managers to enforce the drugs and alcohol policy.

    The Director and Compliance Manager are responsible for maintaining records and ensuring pre-employment and random screening is carried out.

    3.14 Staff that are promoted or transferred to work on the Railway Infrastructure will be subject to a pre-employment drugs and alcohol screening before being appointed.

    3.15 After testing positive for alcohol or drugs Pendersons will not normally reconsider the individual for employment in a role requiring Personal Track Safety until five years after the date of the original test and subject to provision of a negative drug and alcohol screening result.

    The individual will also be subject to a specific regime of unannounced tests for at least two years.

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