To ensure that Blackwood Plant Hire Ltd. (BPH) complies with the current legislation and Network Rail standards in relation to drug and alcohol misuse; all employees, sub-contractors, consultants, trade contractors, agency workers and visitors must be aware of and comply with this drugs and alcohol policy.

  • The Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974,
  • The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971,
  • The Transport and Works Act 1992,

The misuse of alcohol and drugs can result in; accidents, sickness absence, disciplinary problems and reduced efficiency. The Company, its workforce, members of the public and other stakeholders can be put at risk from the misuse of such substances.

To ensure that risks of accidents are reduced, the following must be adhered to:

  • Anyone connected to BPH must not report for work or visit a site or any workplace if they are impaired due to the use of drugs (illegal substances, prescribed or over the counter medication) or alcohol.
  • Any person who is taking prescription or over the counter drugs for a medical condition must report this to his line manager or site supervisor to enable a capability assessment to be made, before commencing any work activity.
  • Any person taking over the counter medication should seek guidance from the chemist and read the medication guidance note in the packaging to identify if any adverse effects could result and affect safety at work
  • Report any person known to be, or suspected of being, affected by alcohol or drugs to line management and HR where it is considered that persons may be at risk such as driving vehicles or operating machinery.
  • Alcohol or illegal drugs must not be consumed, sold or distributed on any BPH premises or workplaces. Being in possession or being under the influence of said substances will be seen as an act of gross misconduct.
  • Any person found to be at work under the influence of proscribed Drugs or Alcohol, bringing it into the workplace or attempting to sell or distribute it will be immediately suspended from work and subject to disciplinary action under BPH disciplinary policy, which may result in termination of employment.
  • Any event of failing a Drugs and/or Alcohol test will be reported through the Sentinel scheme and sponsorship removed
  • BPH have appointed an approved occupational health practitioner to carry out pre-employment, random and for cause screening and testing to establish if there has been misuse of drugs or alcohol. BPH will carry out random D&A tests to at least 5% of its PTS qualified employees
  • If there is a refusal to provide screening or testing BPH will treat this as a positive result.
  • Appeals and grievances to actions taken through the disciplinary process will be dealt with in line with BPH current disputes and grievance procedures

Blackwood Plant Hire Ltd. will endeavour to positively and confidentially support anyone, through our Employee Assistance program, if they state that they have a drug and/or alcohol dependency problem. However, this must be stated prior drug and alcohol screening and testing or any breaches of this policy.

This policy supplements the Company HSQE policy and the Drugs and Alcohol policy statements.

This policy is concerned with the use of illegal drugs and the misuse, whether deliberate or unintentional, of prescribed or over the counter medications and substances such as solvents and alcohol.

Blackwood Plant Hire Ltd has a zero tolerance policy on being unfit for work due to use/misuse of alcohol and drugs.

The policy applies to all staff, consultants, contractors, agency workers and any other third parties working for, or on behalf of, Black Wood Plant Hire Ltd. and is necessary to:

  • Reduce the risk of accidents caused by impaired judgement.
  • Reduce the cost of absenteeism or impaired productivity.
  • Offer support to employees who declare a drug or alcohol related problem.

The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Managing Director, his functional managers, supervisors, everyone.

All members of staff, employees, sub-contractors, contractors, consultants, agency workers and other third parties are expected to support this policy by:

  • Agreeing to participate in alcohol or drugs screening if requested.
  • Informing Functional Managers about any alcohol or drug-related problem they have, or think they may be developing.
  • Informing Functional Managers about any prescription or over the counter medication they are taking which may affect their ability to work safely.
  • Not coming to work in an unfit state as a result of consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
  • Not possessing or supplying any illegal drug, alcohol or substance of abuse in the workplace or while at work.
  • Not consuming alcohol or illegal drugs or any other substance of abuse in the workplace or while at work.
  • Not discontinuing an agreed course of treatment for a drugs or alcohol related problem without good reason.

All members of staff and employees, with an alcohol or drug problem, are encouraged to seek help voluntarily.  The company will assist with their rehabilitation and guarantees that anyone reporting personal drug and/or alcohol problems will be treated in the strictest confidence, subject to statutory provisions. Absence for treatment and rehabilitation will be regarded as normal sickness.

Disciplinary action will be taken where; help is refused and/or impaired performance continues and in cases of gross misconduct. Any instances of possession/dealing will be reported to the police.

We will provide staff, employees, sub-contractors, contractors, consultants, agency workers and other third parties with general information about the effects of alcohol and drugs on health and safety.

Drugs and Alcohol Screening

The Managing Director or his nominated representative(s) will arrange for alcohol and drug screening, with our Occupational Health Practitioner

  • For cause or post incident investigations.
  • For random screening of staff, employees, contractors and subcontractors, consultants, agency workers and other third parties whilst undertaking work for or on behalf of Blackwood Plant Hire Ltd.
  • For compliance with Principal/Main Contractor requirements or other clients/companies that have a mandatory drug and alcohol testing policy.
  • For compliance with Network Rail requirements.

All alcohol and drug screening will be carried out in accordance with standards appropriate to the environment within which the personnel are working.

Staff will face disciplinary action if;

  • Drugs and Alcohol screening returns a positive result.
  • They fail to notify their Line Manager of their use of over the counter medication that may affect their ability to work safely or which may influence the result of screening.
  • They refuse to provide a screening sample.
  • They provide an adulterated/diluted sample.

Where appropriate, competency or access cards i.e. Sentinel – Personal Track Safety (PTS) cards for authorisation to work on Network Rail infrastructure, client/customer access control cards will be withdrawn and the appropriate bodies notified.

When considering this policy, we have referred to numerous sources, including:

  • The Transport and Works Act 1992.
  • Our Occupational Health Practitioner.
  • Railway Group Standard GE/GN8570.
  • Network Rail Company Standard NR/LI/OHS/051.


This policy will be reviewed annually or when circumstances indicate a change is needed.

Signed: Paul McCormack
Managing Director
Dated: 12 April 2020

Authorised By: R McMillan