Industrial Health and Safety: Drugs

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd March 2018.

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Photo of Paul Girvan Paul Girvan Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of mandatory drug testing for people who operate heavy plant machinery.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

No assessment has been made of the potential merits of mandatory drug testing for people who operate heavy plant machinery.

Employers have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. If they knowingly allow an employee under the influence of drug misuse to continue working and his or her behaviour places the employee or others at risk, they could be prosecuted.

The Health and Safety Executive is in the process of updating its guidance on drug misuse at work which provides advice on, and highlights the benefits of, tackling this issue. When finalised, a copy will be placed in the House Library.

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