Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (D&A) at work is a safety issue. What can you do if you’re concerned about teammates, and where does CIRAS fit?
Potential effects on safety
Here are some ways being under the influence of D&A can make work unsafe.
- It can impact on mental health, behaviour and work relationships.
- It can cause mental distraction and an inability to focus.
- People may take more risks.
- There can be a loss of energy or motivation.
- It can lead to increased fatigue.
- It can cause shaking, unsteadiness or lack of coordination.
- There can be more chance of accidents or near-misses.
There are also risks to your health and you could lose your job.
Get familiar with your company's D&A policy if you're not sure about the rules.
Above: Being under the influence can lead to accidents in the workplace
Did you know?
Network Rail recently updated its D&A standard for anyone working on its infrastructure, including the supply chain. It is increasing randomly selected D&A testing from 5% to 20% of all safety-critical workers.
Above: Alcohol abuse can lead to fatigue and mental distraction as well as health issues.
What can you do?
- You can contact CIRAS if you are concerned about a company’s D&A policy or how it handles D&A issues if you think it affects safety. We don’t take concerns about individuals who may be under the influence of D&A because this is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately, and to protect confidentiality.
- If you suspect someone is under the influence of D&A at work on the railway, under Network Rail’s Speak Out policy you can contact the National Operations Centre on 01908 723644 or 01908 723645.
- On the railway, you can use Network Rail’s Speak Out whistleblowing service if you believe someone is struggling with a drug/alcohol problem but they don’t appear to be under the influence at work.Contact 0808 143 0100.
Help with substance misuse
- Health and Wellbeing
- Hazardous Substances