Drugs and alcohol
Do you have a plan or policies in place to manage drug, alcohol, and substance abuse?
Every aviation organization should think about how they would deal with a situation where employees are impaired as a result of drug or alcohol consumption.
If someone at work is under the influence, it could have a negative impact on safety, especially in an aviation setting. Even if consumed outside the workplace, it can lead to poor concentration, risk-taking behavior, and errors in judgement. It can also result in higher rates of injuries, fatalities, and absenteeism as well as reduced productivity.
Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that employees are not under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
While testing for drugs, alcohol, or other illegal substances is not currently mandatory, it is good practice.
A non-negative result means the initial test has indicated that there may be drugs or alcohol present.
In the event of a non-negative result:
- The situation must be considered that impairment exists;
- The person tested should immediately cease work in safety-critical roles until they are considered no longer impaired;
- An additional laboratory test, on the same sample, is then performed to establish the result as positive or not.
Managing the problem
Effective management should also deal with the issue on a long term basis, when necessary, to ensure that repeated behaviour is identified and managed. A workplace policy that applies to all staff can provide the structure for good management.
Management plans and testing could become mandatory
CAAF is currently researching international industry practices and initiatives to strengthen the management of drug and alcohol impairment in the commercial aviation sector.
Commercial operators may in the future be required to have drug and alcohol management plans, including random testing of staff performing safety-sensitive activities. If implemented, the changes will also give CAAF the power to conduct random testing of staff performing safety-sensitive activities.
Drugs and alcohol in adventure aviation
Adventure Aviation Operators must manage drug, alcohol, and substance impairment as a significant risk. You must develop and implement a drug and alcohol programme, which includes a testing regime. That includes detection of prescribed medications, which can cause impairment. Your procedures should give assurance that, while working in key safety roles, neither you, your employees nor contractors are substance-impaired. You must be able to back this up with evidence from test results.
For further information, refer to
- Laws of Fiji
- CAAF Standards Documents
- CAAF Application Forms
- CAAF Aeronautical Information Circulars
- CAAF Guidance Documents
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