Network Rail - Random Drug and Alcohol Screening

Our Ref: HSR/1/1
Head Office Circular NP/154/20
22nd June 2020
The Secretary
All Branches
All Regional Councils

Dear Colleague


Network Rail has written outlining changes they are making to their Random Drug and Alcohol Screening processes during the Covid-19 Pandemic. From Monday 1st June 2020, random D&A screening testing for alcohol will temporarily be carried out by a urine sample rather than a breath sample. This method will also apply to any for cause and post-incident alcohol screenings. There will be no change to the protocols on testing for drugs.

The reason for this is that the breath test can generate aerosols and can pose a risk for the spread of infection to individuals and surrounding surfaces within and around the test areas even in asymptomatic individuals.

The company’s D&A service provider has set up a safe method of working in line with the latest WHO and UK Government recommendations for COVID-19 to protect both the donor and the collection officer.

On considering this matter the National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We note the correspondence on file and that the proposed change will only apply for the duration of the Pandemic. We instruct the General Secretary to raise this matter with the Rail Industry Coronavirus Forum.

Branches and Regional Council be advised.

I am acting in accordance with this instruction. Please bring the contents of this Circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Lynch
Senior Assistant General Secretary