TTC considers random alcohol and drug screening
The TTC will consider implementing a random alcohol and drug testing program for its employees at its next meeting (PDF) on October 19th. The announcement follows an incident in which a TTC bus driver who was involved in a fatal crash was found to be in possession of cannabis, for which he was later charged by Toronto Police. According to a press release, "the addition of random testing supports the TTC's need for a comprehensive and effective fitness for duty policy, but also acts as a necessary deterrent for those who choose to risk their own safety, as well as the safety of others."
At present, the TTC's fitness for duty policy only allows for drug/alcohol tests under the following circumstances: pre-employment/certification, reasonable cause, post-incident, post-violation, and post-treatment. Random tests, should them be implemented, would be pass/fail in nature and used only to determine an employee's current state, rather than if they are a recreational drug user.
A similar proposal was made in 2008, but was shot down for fear that it violated employees right to privacy. In the 30 months prior to that proposal the TTC had documented 39 cases of drug/alcohol abuse during work hours. While more recent numbers have not been released, TTC head of corporate communications Brad Ross told the Globe and Mail that "the problem has not improved."
What do you think? Is a random drug screening program called for?
Photo by Scott Snider
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