Land Rover has suspended 7 contracted employees following workplace Drug & Alcohol testing as ‘safety is a priority’ for the company.
The industrial cleaners at the Land Rover plant in Solihull have been suspended for alleged alcohol and drug misuse. Land Rover requested breathalyser and urine samples as part of a crackdown on substance abuse to provide a safer working environment at the Solihull complex.
Warwick-based Voith Industrial Services, who were awarded the Jaguar Land Rover cleaning contract last December, confirmed that the 7 workers had been suspended but refused to discuss the testing any further with the media.
Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing
As AlphaBiolabs are at the forefront of Drug & Alcohol testing, BBC Coventry requested an interview for expert insight into workplace testing, following the issue. AlphaBiolabs’ Workplace Testing Operations Manager, Gemma Smith, when interviewed by the BBC explained the awareness of Drug & Alcohol testing among businesses and their employees. She said: “It is something becoming more prevalent at the moment, companies are realising the necessity to test staff to ensure safety.”
She also suggested that when a Drug & Alcohol misuse policy is in place “the staff should be aware that they could be subject to drug and alcohol testing… you will always be asked to provide consent to be sampled, if you don’t provide consent then that should be outlined within how you will be treated within the company’s policy.”
Land Rover Suspensions
A cleaner contracted by Land Rover, who wished to remain nameless, scrutinised the method in which the car company conducted the testing. They said: “There was no warning that they were going to do this. It came completely out of the blue. A supervisor came in and said ‘there is an issue with your wages’. We were all told to go into an office to sort it out and there was a breathalyser test and a urine test”
The cleaner added: “It was the way that they have gone about it that has caused so much concern.” Within Drug & Alcohol Misuse Policies it is important to be clear about testing procedures at every stage of the process. However, with Land Rover’s priority being safety it was most likely important for them to act quickly under the circumstances. It is arguable that as it was in the interest of the safety of every member of staff, not just to as an exercise to catch people out, that they conducted the testing responsibly.
The reason it was initially disguised as a wage issue is unclear, this is not standard practice, but this may have been a method incorporated to ensure people did not disappear when the testing was due to take place. Some cleaners refused to take the test resulting in a suspension, which is usually standard practice. Whether or not the refusal to provide a sample will be treated the same as a positive result for drugs is also unclear. This can usually differ between businesses and is usually dependent upon specific procedures within a company’s own Drug & Alcohol Misuse Policy.
During her BBC interview, Gemma Smith explained the importance of conducting workplace testing saying: “If someone is impaired at work, especially in a health and safety critical role, the employers have a duty of care to their staff and responsibility for people on their site.”
Suspensions can have a detrimental effect on a business and the sooner they can be provided with confirmation testing results the better. Gemma said: “The industry standard is roughly 3 to 5 days, however AlphaBiolabs have seen that there’s a need for quicker results.
“It’s quite emotive for the staff to be suspended for that length of time … and if it isn’t something that is illicit or they aren’t under the influence of something then of course employers want their employees back in work AlphaBiolabs in response to that now offer a Same Day Confirmation test.”
Same Day Confirmation Testing – Testing Support When You Need it Fast
AlphaBiolabs provide an unparalleled service for confirmation testing results within the same working day when samples are received at our laboratory before 09.30am.
If you require rapid results in order to keep the disruption of your business to an absolute minimum then contact our support team on 0333 600 1300 or info@alphabiolabs and we will give you help and support when you need it most with the fastest confirmation test results available.
AlphaBiolabs’ full BBC Coventry Interview 29-09-2015