OHS Canada Magazine

Offshore oil worker who tested positive for drug use ordered reinstated: court

July 27, 2018
By The Canadian Press
Compliance & Enforcement Health & Safety impairment Labour/employment occupational health and safety Public Health & Safety substance testing

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Newfoundland and Labrador’s highest court has upheld a decision to reinstate an offshore oil worker who was fired after he tested positive for taking an unauthorized form of tranquilizer.

Drug tests were ordered in January 2015 for eight Hibernia platform employees after a series of mistakes were spotted in manifests used to track luggage loaded on the helicopters that carry workers to and from the platform.

All parties involved in the case, including the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, agreed the errors constituted a “significant incident.”

The Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal, in a decision released Friday, said it agreed with an arbitration board’s decision to reinstate the helicopter loading officer because the employer ordered the test without seeking an explanation for what happened.

The board also found there were reasonable explanations for the errors, which meant there was no need to order the tests.


As well, the board found the employer failed to find sufficient reasons to link the employee’s actions with the mistakes on the manifests.

The appeal court also agreed with a Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court judge, who concluded it would not have caused a significant delay for the employer to question the eight-member heli-deck crew.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Canadian Press


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