What do “Fit for Duty” and “Safety Sensitive” Really Mean?

“Fit for Duty” policies are getting a lot of attention these days, and I am finding that a lot of employers and workers are confused about this terminology and how to apply it in the context of “Safety Sensitive” work.

Fit for Duty means that a worker is able to safely perform their assigned duties without any limitations resulting from, but not limited to: the use or after-effects of Drugs, Alcohol, and/or medications.

Impaired means “the condition of being less than fully functional to perform the tasks at hand” or “being under the influence of drugs or alcohol”

 A Safety-Sensitive Position is one in which incapacity due to a drug or medication (prescription, non-prescription, 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. Examples of safety-sensitive positions include, but are not limited to: forklift drivers, driving a vehicle (sales, couriers etc.), heavy machinery operators, people working at heights, construction workers and similar occupations.

Because this issue falls under Human Rights legislation, your workplace needs a sound policy on when and to whom the workers should report that they may be unfit for duty and what will be done to accommodate them in the workplace.

Call us today for help with this very complicated issue!