Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Construction Industry

Being tough on drink and drugs use protects us all and Constructing Better Health (CBH) has been consulting and working with Construction Industry contractors regarding Drug and Alcohol testing procedures and the best way to ensure compliance with this important health issue.

Testing for drug and alcohol has been mandatory in the Railways Industry for some years and many Construction companies already undertake drug and alcohol testing to ensure that workers are safe to work on sites and to protect members of the public from accidents due to misuse of drugs and alcohol. 

Following on from extensive research and requests for guidance, CBH can now publish its recommended guidance going forward and stipulates that, as a minimum, all Construction companies/sites should have looked at the issue of drug and alcohol misuse and work to an agreed drug and alcohol policy document per company. Further, CBH has stipulated that safety critical workers on all construction sites undergo drug and alcohol testing in some form (according to company policy) and that the higher Railway Standard for alcohol be used as the norm for those in the construction safety critical workers category.

CBH defines safety critical work as:

‘Where the ill health of an individual may compromise their ability to undertake a task defined as safety critical, thereby posing a significant risk to health and safety of others’.

A list of safety critical job roles within the construction industry are available to view within the Industry Standards and include roles such as tunnel boring gangs and steeplejacks amongst others.

Results from the Drug and Alcohol tests will be displayed on the ‘Check a Card’ system of data display which can be checked via the CBH website alongside other health check results. Those who pass the D & A will have results recorded as a PASS result and those who fail will have the notation ‘refer to employer’ displayed for a period of 3 months, after which the ‘refer to employer’ will disappear. Sponsors of the D & A testing (those who pay for the test) will be informed of the PASS or FAIL result.

The documents below are available vie the members area of the CBH website for reference purposes and further information:

  1. The Industry Standard
  2. Drug and Alcohol guidance
  3. Drug and Alcohol testing procedure

CBH will give further training to Occupational Health, Drug and Alcohol Service Providers and contractors using this new system of data entry via the CBH CHAT2.

Contact CBH on 0345 873 7726 or info@cbhscheme.co.uk  for more details.