Articles & Media

Suncor Introduces Random Drug/Alcohol Testing


By Hugh McPhail, Q.C. 

Following its recent success in the Court of Appeal, warding off a challenge to random testing of its employees, Suncor announced late yesterday that it will begin a random testing program for alcohol and drugs at its facilities in the Wood Buffalo area on December 1. It will apply to safety-sensitive and other designated positions. Suncor is also imposing the requirement on all of its contractors to implement equivalent testing programs on December 1 (or any later date if contractually obliged to provide advance notice to their employees).

This decision was, according to Suncor, driven by ongoing safety concerns related to workplace alcohol and drug use. There have been “life altering injuries and fatalities”, ongoing safety incidents, hundreds of security incidents, and an “alarming number” of positive tests under other testing programs.

It will be interesting to see if any legal challenges are mounted and whether Suncor’s lead will be followed by other project and facility owners.

Contractors will have little time to implement programs that meet or exceed Suncor’s Random Testing Standard. McLennan Ross lawyers are ready and equipped to assist them.

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