Staff working on a ferry have failed drug tests, prompting further investigation.

According to The Sun newspaper, 13 crew members working on Pride of Canterbury, a P&O vessel which takes passengers between Dover and Calais. The company, which has a zero tolerance policy towards illegal substances, had carried out random drugs tests on its staff last week.

Out of the 104 people who work on board the ferry, the urine samples from 13 employees produced a “non-negative” result. Further tests will now be carried out to find out whether these crew members had taken illegal substances.

The police have been told about the incident and the company said anyone found to have taken drugs faces dismissal. It is not known what roles the affected staff members worked in but a representative for P&O said no officers had failed the tests.

Staff face potential dismissal

The P&O spokesman told The Sun: “We’ve never had a drugs incident involving this many staff before. P&O Ferries operates a zero tolerance policy towards substance abuse and any employees not complying with it will be dismissed.

“Urine tests were carried out on Thursday during a number of crossings between Dover and Calais over a four hour period. No substances were found but Port of Dover Police have been routinely informed.”

It is against the law for employees in some positions in the transport industry to be under the influence of either drink or drugs at work. AlphaBiolabs provides workplace drug and alcohol tests for a number of industry sectors, including transport.

Workplace screening plays vital role

As well as random testing, we offer pre-employment screening which can be used as part of the recruitment process to check whether someone has an issue with alcohol or drugs before they start their new role.

There is also for-cause testing which can be used to respond to complaints or concerns about a member of staff and can determine whether illegal substances or alcohol were involved in a workplace incident which is under investigation.

Drug testing can also be used to monitor employees who have faced previous disciplinary action for incidents involving substance misuse or to help them return to work after a period of treatment and rehabilitation for drugs or alcohol abuse.