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Workplace Substance Management Policy

READ Saskatoon is an alcohol and drug-free workplace. The use of controlled substances or being under the influence of controlled substances while performing services for READ Saskatoon is unacceptable. We are committed to providing a safe working environment to all of our employees, contractors, temporary workers, volunteers, and visitors (hereinafter referred to as “Employees” for simplicity).

Employees under the influence of impairment-causing substances on the job can pose serious safety and health risks to themselves, their co-workers and the general public. The READ Saskatoon workplace substance management policy is intended to provide guidance to employees, supervisors and managers on the company’s regulations surrounding the use of various drugs and alcohol in the workplace as well as offsite, while employees are performing work-related functions.

Employee Expectations and Requirements
  1. If you occupy a safety-sensitive position (which is defined later in this policy), you are expected to disclose the use of any substance that may cause impairment in the workplace to allow the company to complete an analysis of your ability to safely complete your duties.
  2. Employees are not permitted to work while impaired by any substance.
  3. Employees who are experiencing substance abuse challenges are required to disclose these challenges to their supervisor immediately to allow the company to initiate the accommodation analysis process.
  4. To help preserve a safe and healthy workplace, READ Saskatoon prohibits certain substances from being brought on the company property or being consumed on company property. Unless otherwise addressed in this policy, the following items are prohibited from being present on company property: non-prescription) or non-medically-authorized) drugs or medication, including, but not limited to, cannabis and alcohol.

The consumption of legal, impairment-causing substances (such as alcohol) is not permitted during work hours, including events in which staff are representing the agency and/or being paid.

Please note that employees are prohibited from working while impaired by any substance.

READ Saskatoon is equally committed to accommodating, up to the point of undue hardship, any employee who is required to use prescription drugs or medications as well as any employee with a substance abuse issue. READ Saskatoon acknowledges that drug and alcohol dependencies are protected and recognized as a disability under human rights legislation, and therefore considered to be prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Please note the requirements for employees in a safety-sensitive position differ from other employees (see section 2 for clarification). In addition, employees are required to report any safety risks in the workplace; including their own impairment. If an employee is unsure of whether a safety risk exists at a given time, they are required to consult with their supervisor to initiate a risk assessment.

Both medical and recreational cannabis are covered by this policy, under different substance classifications. For the purposes of commenting on impairment and or risk, cannabis products will be identified with one of the 4 descriptors:

  1. medical cannabis (THC) – medically-authorized cannabis products containing significant amounts of THC Wednesday, July 11, 2018
  2. medical cannabis (CBD) – medically-authorized CBD-based cannabis products that do not impair the employee
  3. recreational cannabis (THC) and; legally acquired, recreational cannabis products containing significant amounts of THC
  4. recreational cannabis (CBD) – legally acquired CBD-based cannabis products that do not impair the employee

If an employee wishes to discuss this policy further, or if any additional information is required, please contact your direct supervisor via email, by phone or in-person.

Safety Sensitive Positions

A safety-sensitive position is one in which incapacity due to a drug or medication (prescription, nonprescription, medically-authorized or non-medically-authorized) or alcohol impairment could result in direct and significant risk of injury to the employee, others, or the environment, or could result in a threat to general public safety. If you are unsure of whether you occupy a safety-sensitive position, please consult your direct supervisor for clarification. Examples of safety-sensitive positions include, but are not limited to: forklift drivers, heavy machine operators, people working at heights, truck drivers, etc.

Any employee in a safety-sensitive position should notify their direct supervisor if they are scheduled to work but may be impaired by drugs or alcohol in order to ensure a proper risk-assessment is completed.

Employees in safety-sensitive positions must disclose the use of any drugs or medication that could cause impairment, including, but not limited to: medical cannabis, sleep-aids, codeine, etc. before undertaking safety-sensitive job functions.

The company may request appropriate information from a physician to ensure the safety-sensitive employee is able to discharge their duties in a safe manner. Employees acknowledge that this is a key step in the accommodation process and is important to maintain a safe workplace. To this end, Employees agree to fully cooperate with the company and any advising physician.