1.0 Purpose

Artel Scaffolding Ltd is concerned to provide a safe and healthy working environment. The Company recognises that this can be put at risk by those who misuse alcohol or drugs to such and extent that it may affect the health, performance and conduct and relationships at work.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all employees and aims to:

  1. Promote health and well-being of employees and to minimise problems at work arising from the effects of alcohol and drugs.
  2. Identify employees with possible problems relating to the effects of alcohol or drugs at an early stage.
  3. Offer employees known to have alcohol or drug-related problems affecting their work referral to an appropriate source for diagnosis and treatment if necessary.

2.1 Exceptions

Exceptions to this are in circumstances where Artel Scaffolding Ltd staff are employed by a client who has a more stringent policy in which case whilst working for this client these employees will be required to comply with the clients’ policy and procedures. Also, any subcontractors, which Artel Scaffolding Ltd employs, will either be required to comply with this policy or the employing clients’ policy.

This policy does not apply to any employee who commits a clear breech of Company rules whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under these circumstances actions will be taken under the Company disciplinary procedure as appropriate.

3.0 Information and Training

The Company will provide sufficient information on drugs and alcohol as is necessary to all existing employees and new starters, which will broadly consist of:

  • The strict drugs and alcohol Company rules (see Safe System of Work)
  • The risks associated to health arising from the effects of drugs and alcohol including some legally prescribed medicines, which can affect employee’s ability to work safely.
  • Performance behaviour traits that may be attributed to the effects of drugs or alcohol to enable managers and supervisors to recognise and to take the necessary action, which may warrant medical examination (see Appendix A)

Also any employees who may have drugs and alcohol-related problems, which may affect the ability to work safely, are encouraged to use the referral procedure for diagnosis and treatment.

4.0 Safe System of Work

A strict Alcohol and Drugs Policy exists and applies to all employees and subcontractors and requires that they shall not:

  • Report or endeavour to report for duty, having just consumed alcohol or being under the influence of drugs.
  • Report for duty in an unfit state due to the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Be in possession of drugs of abuse in the workplace.
  • Consume alcohol or drugs whilst on duty.

Employees are advised to check with their doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of prescribed medication.

4.1 Limits

Employees will be prevented from working on rail projects if the test shows:

  • More than 80 mg or more per 100ml of blood
  • More than 35 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of breath
  • More than 107 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of urine
  • A trace of illegal drugs

Penalties Dismissal may occur if:

A blood – alcohol level of over 80 mg per 100 ml or the equivalent in breath or urine

Or if

An Employee reports for work appearing to be unfit due to alcohol or drugs

Or if

Alcohol is consumed on duty

Possess illegal drugs on duty Refuse a test without good reason

The use of alcohol and drugs is not appropriate in the workplace and can be a criminal offence as well as a serious health risk

4.3 Employees should:

  • Look after their own health and safety by developing a responsible attitude toward drugs and alcohol.
  • Be aware of other colleagues or others who may put safety at risk due to their actions.
  • Recognize when and how to ask for help.
  • Employees involved in operational duties must AVOID drinking 8 hours before duty or during a meal break
  • Must NOT use illegal drugs on duty
  • Must NOT abuse solvents such glue
  • Must TELL their manager if they are using prescribed / non prescribed medicines

Appendix A

Abnormal Signs of Conduct, Behaviour and Appearance

Irregular attendance at work/absence from place of duty

  • Multiple instances of unauthorised leave
  • Excessive sick leave
  • Frequent Monday and or Friday absences
  • Excessive lateness, e.g. Monday mornings or returning from lunch
  • Leaving work early
  • Peculiar and increasingly improbable excuses for absences
  • Unusually high absenteeism rate for colds, flu, gastritis, etc
  • Frequent unscheduled short-term absences, with or without explanation
  • Repeated absences from post, more than the job requires
  • Over long breaks/unexplained absences from the place of duty
  • Short spells attributed to gastritis, diarrhoea, debility or depression (Whether or not these have been certified by medical practitioner)

Work performance

  • Work seems to require greater effort than the Manager expects
  • Job takes more time than it normally should
  • Alternate periods of high and low productivity
  • Increasing general unreliability and unpredictability
  • Late for work
  • Unexplained absences from place of work
  • Increased errors and generally poor performance
  • High rate of reported sickness on duty and physical incapability of performing the job

Increased rate of Accidents (including ‘Near Miss’ Incidents)

  • Accidents on the job
  • Accidents off the job, e.g. at home, travelling to work
  • High incidence of accidents on and off duty (whether or not injury or absence from work results)
  • Road traffic accidents, particularly if breathalysed by the police.


  • Difficulty in recalling instructions, details etc.
  • Increasing difficulty in handling complex assignments
  • Difficulty in recalling own mistakes
  • Over-excitement/elation
  • Deterioration of relationships with colleagues at work
  • Lack of reliability, and the use of deception to cover mistakes and behaviour, e.g. avoiding supervisor or being seen when booking on duty
  • Deterioration of personal appearance and dress.

Other signs

  • Aroma of alcohol or other unfamiliar substances, particularly in the early morning.
  • Tremors, especially of the hands
  • Increasing unkempt appearance/lack of hygiene
  • Flushed face and bleary eyes
  • Domestic problems, e.g. in relationships with members of the family and financial difficulties.


B Morrissey
Managing Director

Reviewed 7 January 2020.