Managing the Safety Risks of Employee Drugs and Alcohol Use

  • Managing the Safety Risks of Employee Drugs and Alcohol Use
    Thursday, April 20, 2023
    2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Thursday 20th April 2023 (2pm–5pm)

Total Fee: €125. Early booking discount €99 book online before Tuesday 4th April

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Increased use of cannabis presents a major safety risk in the workplace.

The 2021 Irish European Web Survey found that cannabis was the drug most commonly used followed by cocaine and ecstasy.

Driving for work – cannabis, cocaine and heroin

In 2014, 12% of drivers fatally injured from all causes, were driving for work and 8% commuting to and from work. The Road traffic came into force in 2016 The law states that a person must not be impaired (through alcohol, drugs or any combination of both) while driving or in charge of a vehicle. An additional offence, introduced in April 2017, provides that a person cannot drive while over specified limits of 3 specified drugs cannabis, cocaine and heroin. A new test was introduced on the 1st December 2022 It is more portable, faster at delivering results and can not only test for cannabis, cocaine, benzodiazepines and opiates, this device can, unlike its predecessor, test for amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Safety legislation – Removal from place of work

Section 13 (1) b of The Irish Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (SHWW) Act 2005 requires employers to remove any employee from their place of work, who reports for work under the influence of an intoxicant ,defined as drugs and alcohol or any combination of both .

US trends in cannabis use

Use and acceptance of cannabis is at an all-time high in the U.S. 21 states have legalized adult recreational use and 43 states have some level of medical programs. Drug testing positive rates are at a 20 year high. While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, employers retain the right to test for it, discipline those who test positive and retain a drug-free workplace policy.


  • Maurice Quinlan
    Maurice Quinlan, Director of the EAP Institute is a competent person as required by Section 80(1) of The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. He has the knowledge, skills and experience to develop policies and training on Employee Support Therapy (EST) for workplace mental health, workplace intoxicants (defined as drugs and alcohol), Psychological and Psychosocial risks and employee health and wellbeing policies and programmes for national and international companies.
  • Tamara Cagney
    Tamara Cagney
    Dr Tamara Cagney is the executive director of TC Training and Consulting. The focus of her current consultation and training centres around the US Department of Transportation Drug and Alcohol Regulations and the workplace impact of rapidly changing cannabis legalization. Tamara has provided Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services for over 40 years in both the public and private sectors, in unionized and non-unionized settings. She served as a Distinguished Member of the Laboratory Staff in the role of an embedded employee assistance professional at Sandia National Laboratories, a DOE research laboratory for 20 years. She provides on-going clinical consultation to member assistance and EA programs and employers including the Northern California Teamsters’ Assistance Program (TAP)