Safety conscious Irish plan for workplace drug testingOn 13 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Workers in Ireland could be subject to drink and drugs tests under newhealth and safety legislation presented to the Dublin parliament last month. Under the legislation, which is mainly targeted at staff working in ‘safetycritical’ environments, employers can insist that staff they suspect of being‘under the influence of an intoxicant’ provide blood or urine samples. Employees who test positive will be subject to on the spot fines and couldface up to two years in prison. The Bill also introduces a new employer obligation to do “everything heor she can, as far as reasonably practicable, to ensure the safety, health andwelfare of his or her employees”. The maximum employer fine for breaching this obligation will be Û3 million(£2m). And company directors and managers may be held personally liable andcould also face a two-year prison sentence. Presenting the Bill to parliament Frank Fahey, the minister for labouraffairs, said: “We must recogniseÉ the part that each one of us can playto ensure safety in the workplace. No single group bears this burden alone. Thenew legislation rightly focuses on the responsibilities and obligations of bothemployers and employees in this regard.” A registered medical practitioner will have to conduct the tests, withemployees having the right to have their own doctor present. The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Bill has all-party support and isexpected to become law by the end of the year. By Mike Berry Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.