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Do you know what the OHSA says about breathalyser tests at work?

by , 06 February 2014
You can't just decide to conduct breathalyser tests as you see fit. You have to do it according to what's prescribed in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). Read on to find out what the Act says about this.

Don't know what the law says about breathalyser tests at work? If so, here's an answer for you.

Here's what the OHSA says about breathalyser tests at work

Firstly, you must have a breathalyser policy.

Secondly, the content of your policy must be legal.

'It must have the provisions of General Safety Regulations, 2A on intoxication.

The Health & Safety Advisor says your policy must include these five legal points:

You must state that you won't allow:

  1. Any person who is or who seems to be under the influence of liquor or drugs, to enter or remain at your workplace;
  2. Any person at your workplace to be under the influence of liquor or drugs;
  3. Any person at your workplace to possess liquor or drugs;
  4. Any person at your workplace to offer any other person liquor or drugs;
  5. If an employee is taking medicines, you'll only allow them to work if the side effects of the medicine aren't a threat to their health or safety or other people at your workplace.

While the law doesn't mention anything about using breathalyser tests in the workplace, it's clear from industry practices and case law that you need to have an alcohol abuse policy in place.

That's the only way your tests will be legal.

'Not only is it against the OHSA to allow intoxicated employees on the premises, but it also creates a financial and productivity burden on you,' cautions the Health & Safety Advisor.

Now that you know what the OHSA says about breathalyser tests, make sure you comply.

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