OHS Canada Magazine

CNSC applauds Federal Court ruling upholding drug, alcohol testing for safety-critical positions at nuclear facilities

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June 8, 2023
By OHS Canada

Health & Safety drug testing nuclear random drug testing

Aerial view of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. Photo: SKyF/Adobe Stock

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is applauding a Federal Court ruling this week that endorsed pre-placement and random alcohol and drug testing for workers in safety-critical positions.

It said the testing is necessary for workers at high-security nuclear facilities, as mandated by CNSC regulatory document REGDOC-2.2.4, Fitness for Duty, Volume II: Managing Alcohol and Drug Use.

“In early 2021, following the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the CNSC provided new regulatory requirements for the pre-placement and random testing of workers as part of a proactive approach to enhance nuclear safety and security at high-security nuclear facilities in Canada,” it said in a press releaase.

These new requirements were based on the results of extensive consultations with scientists and other experts, licensees of and workers at high-security nuclear sites, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and the public, it said.

“Fitness for duty is one factor that affects human performance. An important element of being fit for duty is being free from the influence of alcohol, legal or illicit drugs, or performance-altering medication while at work,” according to CNSC.


“These requirements ensure that Canada is in line with the best international practices and can hold licensees to the highest possible safety standards for the operation of high-security nuclear facilities. The court ruling in favour of these requirements allows the CNSC to act and operationalize the regulatory requirements.”


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