Town of Conception Bay South Adopts Drug and Alcohol Policy to Ensure Safe and Productive Workforce

To ensure a safe and productive workforce, the Town of Conception Bay South will soon implement a comprehensive drug and alcohol policy. Beginning May 1st, under very specific and clearly communicated circumstances, employees may be subject to alcohol and drug testing.

“We are committed to providing a safe work environment for all employees, residents, and those that do business with the Town. Safety is of utmost importance, and we have adopted a drug and alcohol policy to ensure an environment that is free from the effects of drugs and alcohol.  Many large municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador have drug and alcohol testing in place.  It’s becoming a standard part of the way organizations conduct their business,” said Mayor French.

“Our Town has over 27,000 residents, we have more than 200 employees and $300 million in assets. We are very much a large organization, and this policy demonstrates that we are adopting best practices in the workplace. Conception Bay South continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in Newfoundland and Labrador; therefore, we must adopt new programs and policies that reflect our changing world,” said Mayor French.

The drug and alcohol policy indicates that all employees are expected to arrive for and be at work, fit for work, and ready to perform their duties in a safe and lawful manner. The new policy concerns fitness for work and does not require or focus on proof of intoxication. Employees and others covered by the policy are not fit for work if they have in their possession open alcohol or psychoactive drugs, not declared and approved by the CAO, or arrive under the influence of alcohol or psychoactive drugs.

“The policy will be applicable to all employees, contractors or subcontractors doing business with the Town, Town volunteers, students, and members of Council. In order to ensure a safe and lawful workplace, everyone must work together – employees must respect the rules, managers must educate staff and offer support, and senior executive must champion a culture of safety,” said Mayor French.

Awareness and education is ongoing with staff to ensure they are well-informed prior to policy implementation. Managers have received additional training on how to detect potential issues with drug and alcohol abuse, as well as other specific aspects of the program. The Town has contracted an independent company to support all drug and alcohol testing activities, and testing will be two phases.  If the initial test indicates a potential problem, further testing will be conducted. All testing will be conducted by an independent agent and will be completed offsite.

Accommodations are an important part of this policy, and the Town is committed to help offering support to all employees. Employees who have a substance abuse problem are encouraged to come forward so that the Town can help find solutions, such as alternate duties or work modifications.

To learn more details about the policy, please visit https://www.conceptionbaysouth.ca/policies/.