Can or should you allow a forklift driver to drive a forklift at work if you know that he has been drinking at work, but a test reveals that his blood alcohol level is within legal parameters? Of course not!
All employers must have a written Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy in place, which provides that the employer’s rule is “Zero tolerance.”
To reduce any liability you may face, as an employer, as a result of an intoxicated patron driving home whilst over the legal limit, or an employee drinking on the job, you should have a policy in place that each employee signs and that you publish in a prominent place that:
Employers must also incorporate into the policy the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993, in particular general safety regulation number 2A, which addresses the issue of intoxication. This regulation states that “any employer or a user, as the case may be, shall not permit any person who is, or who appears to be under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs, to enter or remain at a workplace. It goes further to state that no person at a workplace shall be under the influence of, or have in his or her possession, or partake of or offer to any other person intoxicatingly go or drugs. This means that if an employee who is under the influence of alcoholic liquor or drugs, or who appears to be under the influence of alcoholic liquor or drugs, arrives at the work premises, the employer is legally obliged to refuse him entry to the premises. The words in this safety regulation “or who appears to be” vitally important. The testing procedure outlined above, if producing a negative result, will entitle the employer to conclude “this employee appears to be under the influence of alcoholic liquor or drugs” – therefore I will not allow him entry to the premises.”
Bregman Moodley Attorneys Inc. 2015/089214/21
Physical Address: Suite 314, 3rd Floor, Office Towers, Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Road, Killarney, Johannesburg, South Africa
Directors: Roy Bregman, Sharusha Moodley & Benita Dayaljee
Associates: Melani Scholtz, Renthia Neethling & Abdul Buckus