D&A Testing on Machine Operator

Brothers and Sisters,

We would like you take note of the Company’s response to a grievance filed by the Union regarding one of our brothers being subject to a post incident D&A test when the company was aware there was issues with the equipment. Their response reaffirms the fact that everything is “Blame the employee”, below is part of the grievance response we received today from the company.

…was transporting two coated pipes which slipped through the forks of machine. This resulted in damage to the pipes which were subsequently scrapped. It was obvious that this particular incident should be considered a “significant work-related incident” as it resulted in a significant loss of the employer’s property and to company revenues. As such, as per the Alcohol and Substance Policy “… alcohol and substance testing will be required for all employees involved in a ‘significant work-related incident’…” and that is why…was required to go through post-incident alcohol and drug test. In the opinion of the union, clear mechanical failure that caused this accident. The employer conducted the investigation into this matter. The employer investigation acknowledges that prior to this accident there was knowledge that the forks on this machine were not gripping with equal force. However, from the employer perspective, the post-incident testing was required as the malfunction of forks did not fully explained why the accident happened. For example, the day of the accident there was also a buildup of frost on the pipes making them slippery. Under those conditions much more caution and good judgment should be exercised by the loader operator. All the operator’s tasks should be performed slower as these were not perfect conditions. Therefore, the employer had every right to suspect that at the time of incident, the judgment of the operator was at the very least a potential factor in this serious incident.

Therefore, this grievance is denied.
Brad Forster