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Not a risk worth taking; drugs & alcohol

7th August 2018

Network Rail has a zero-tolerance approach to individuals attending work whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most companies will have the same approach.

Network Rail have now brought in random drugs and alcohol testing which will take place on site and in the office at any time without prior notice.

Here are the alcohol limits within Network Rail:

29 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood

13 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath

39 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of urine

These limits are set by the Railway Group Standard GE/RT8070 and are considerably lower than the government driving guidelines.

Failure to consent to testing or leaving the site before testing is completed will be regarded as a refusal to submit to testing. A positive result would then be recorded and dealt with in the same way as someone who had tested over the limit.

The possible consequences of a positive test result could be:

  • PTS certificate revoked for five years
  • Disciplinary procedure
  • Sentinel card cancelled

If you report a drugs or alcohol problem voluntarily to your line manager, HR department or supervisor and this is not reported as a consequence of expecting a positive test result, you will be able to receive support and assistance and begin a programme of rehabilitation.

You can go to further support with the following:

Validium – Employee assistance provider

0800 3584858 OR

03303329980 (24-hour phone line)


OH Assist – Occupational health support

0845 6080656 OR

Click here

Here are some more Drugs & Alcohol Panels cut off levels:

Source: Express Medicals Limited

Other ways to get help

There are a wide range of advice, treatment and support services for addiction in the UK. Anyone with a substance related problem can have access to such services.

Your GP might offer to treat you or might refer you to your local specialist drug service. Most local community drug units also run drop-in centres which don’t require a referral from a doctor. You should be able to find information about these on the internet or ask at your doctors’ surgery.

Don’t forget you can call Frank to discuss any issues you have confidentially on:

0800 776600