An expert group of health and safety, equality and drug testing practitioners will provide an update on recent developments in employee drug testing on Thursday 22 September in Dublin.
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (SHWW) Act 2005, which came into force in September 2005, contained two provisions – Section 13 (1)b required employers to remove an employee from their place of work, who reported for work under the influence of drugs and alcohol; Section 13 (1)c contained proposals for employee intoxicant testing, which would require regulations before this section could be implemented.
The Irish Government decided that no regulations would be developed, resulting in a major anomaly in the legislation and caused uncertainty and confusion amongst employers who wished to address workplace intoxicants.
It was against this background and employers’ concerns on workplace drugs and alcohol and the health and safety legislation that the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Institute developed the concept of an expert group on workplace drugs and alcohol.
This group’s next meeting in September will put forward clear drug testing guidelines and experiences on all aspects of intoxicant testing for occupational health specialists, EHS managers, HR professionals and EAP practitioners.
Speakers will include Maurice Quinlan, Director of the EAP Institute, who will outline an employer’s health and safety obligations on workplace intoxicants, Eilis Barry, Barrister at Law (BL) will present on reasonable accommodation, Duncan Carmichael, Sales Manager with AgiYork 400 Ltd, will highlight the European Workplace Drug Testing Society (EWDTS) guidelines on drug testing, while Mike Doyle, Country Manager (Ireland) with Alere Toxicology, will discuss the Irish experience of drug testing.