POLICY REGARDING WORKPLACE RANDOM DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING
– The CNWC and our member Unions agree that it essential to ensure that the workforce at a nuclear power plant/nuclear facility is fit for duty. We are confident that the rigorous systems that are already in place will effectively ensure that this is the case and there are no workplace issues related to drug and alcohol use at our nuclear facilities.
– The CNWC supports fitness for duty requirements and accepts that testing for current impairment by drugs or alcohol can be carried out where there is cause to believe that an employee is impaired at work.
– Proper targeted random testing can be carried out in respect of specific employees as a follow-up to treatment for substance dependence.
– Pre-placement testing and random testing across the board for employees is unlawful and violates the human rights and privacy rights of workers. The Supreme Court of Canada has held that random alcohol testing is presumptively
unlawful absent proof of a workplace problem in that regard.
– In depth measures to ensure fitness for duty have been in place at nuclear facilities for many years and these include, among other tools, person-to-person turnover and continuous interaction with qualified staff and training for supervisors and security officers to spot potential impairment for any reason, including drug or alcohol use.
These measures have proven to be quite effective. The CNSC does not claim that there is any workplace problem with respect to drug or alcohol use at nuclear facilities.
– Across the board random testing will likely undermine the current regime ensuring fitness for duty. If chemical testing is put in place, it will create an incentive for busy workers and supervisors to turn to their other duties rather than focusing on human interaction means of ensuring fitness for duty. The CNSC proposal is unnecessary and unlawful. Implementation of the CNSC proposal is likely to cause real harm to the goals that the CNSC purports to be pursuing and that the unions and employers continue to pursue – maintaining a work force that is fit for duty.
David Shier- National Director
Bob Walker- Executive Board Chairperson