• Peter Bateman
    In the May/June edition of Safeguard magazine we pose three questions based on stories in the magazine. One of them is this:

    Dr Mary Obele flags the issue of people taking prescribed cannabis. How should this be dealt with in terms of drug and alcohol policies?

    Feel free to respond here on the Forum, or privately here via a Survey Monkey form.

    An edited selection of responses will be published in the July/August edition, but with no names attached. One randomly selected person will receive a prize, namely a copy of the book Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership, by Kirstin Ferguson.
  • Andrew
    Do you mean cannabidiol or the medication containing THC?

    I don't have a drug and alcohol policy but have in the past had at least 2 people taking this medication.

    The fact they were being prescribed medicinal cannabis wasn't the issue. It was their underlying medical conditions that was the greater problem and the one causing the greater risk of impairment. Its those conditions that had to be managed.
  • MattD2
    All D&A policies should have a clause for employee disclosure of the use of prescribed drugs which have the potential to affect the employee's ability to perform their assigned tasks safely / effectively, and therefore "the issue of people taking prescribed cannabis" is really a moot point as it should already be accounted for, the same as someone taking strong painkillers would be.
  • jason farrow
    full disclosure, for some alcohol and drug policies it may mean medical cannabis may have to be included in an update.
  • Janene Magson
    I agree with MattD2 - we had this discussion when I worked in Public transport - Where the working force was of a certain age and many if not all on some form of medication. Making staff aware that their GP's should find alternative(if possible) medication or that medication needs to be taken at a time that it cannot hamper their driving ability. I also agree that the culture in HS should be that we all report if using medication that can affect our daily tasks or at least have a discussion with a supervisor/ team leader about it - but this swings both ways, the person who this is being reported to, must have the maturity to have a discussion without bias about it
  • John Drower

    I agree with MattD2 and Janene. Our D&A policy also has a clause regarding prescribed medications, however we do not have an exhaustive list of what those are. Instead it based around any warnings about impairment and the ability to operate machinery, mobile plant and vehicles. We do not carry out random drug testing but do have a policy of just cause testing. However, as a contracting company our teams visit many sites where random drug testing is carried out, will be interesting how to see that plays out if someone ever tests positive even though they would be doing low risk work and be accompanied by someone else.
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