Updates to Network Rail supply chain drug and alcohol policy and drug testing
Network Rail has a strict drug and alcohol policy in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the public. The policy aims to prevent drug and alcohol misuse by employees and contractors, to identify and support individuals who may have substance abuse issues, and to ensure compliance with legal requirements.
Drug and alcohol testing is an important part of Network Rail's policy. Everyone at Network Rail can be randomly tested for drugs, not just safety critical roles. Employees and contractors are subject to testing in a variety of circumstances, including pre-employment, for-cause, and random testing. For-cause testing may be triggered by specific incidents or concerns about an employee's behavior or performance, while random drug testing is conducted to deter drug and alcohol use and to detect any substance abuse issues that may be present.
Due to an increase in the number of failed drug tests particularly, in the supply chain in recent years, Network Rail has introduced some changes to its current drug and alcohol policy that will affect their entire supply chain. The new standard was first published on 3/9/23 and all the changes will be implemented by 3/3/23.
The main changes are as follows:
- 20% of all safety critical workers (includes contractors) will be subject to random drug testing each year (up from 5%). This means that if your company is part of Network Rail's supply chain you will be required to randomly drug test at least 20% of your safety critical workforce each year.
- Drug tests can now be conducted using point of care tests as well as back to lab tests.
- Ketamine and Tramadol have been added to the drug test panel required by Network Rail and Propoxyphene has been removed. This is due to increased misuse of Ketamine and Tramadol, while Propoxyphene use is rare in the UK.
For more information about upcoming changes to Network Rail drug and alcohol policy for the supply chain visit their information pages below.