Intended for healthcare professionals

Career Focus


BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 28 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:S3-7171

Routine testing for drug and alcohol use in the workplace is becoming commonplace in the United States and in jobs in Britain in which safety is critical. A review of the law on dismissal as a result of positive tests (IDS Brief 1998;625:13-7) suggests that employers supervising situations where safety is critical are entitled to test for and enforce strict policies on drug and aclohol use provided that this is contractually explicit. They should preferably include a clear advance statement of the disciplinary consequences of intoxication at work, which should include referral for treatment from less critical work situations.