What is a Safety Sensitive Position?
What is a Safety Sensitive Position?

What is a Safety Sensitive Position?

Blog and Opinions Red Slashes Sep 9, 2022
By: Kendra Lawrysyn

Safety is of the highest importance in today’s workplace. It’s no surprise that health and safety programs have policies around illicit substances. Team members under the influence of drugs and alcohol are a growing concern for all parties involved. Employers, employees, unions, health professionals, and third-party companies are all affected by those who are experiencing substance use or abuse issues. The consequences of this use can be negative and serious. This is why so many industries follow drug and alcohol guidelines. 

Drug and alcohol testing is a crucial step if you’re in a safety sensitive position. But what is a safety sensitive position? Why is it important to ensure that people in these positions are fit for duty? Our team at CannAmm investigates these questions and the thoughts around them below.

What is a safety sensitive position?

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction defines a Safety Sensitive Position as a position “where impaired employee performance could result in a significant incident affecting the health and safety of the individual, other employees, customers or the public, or could cause property damage.”

Moreover, a safety sensitive position is categorized as one where incapacity due to drug or alcohol impairment can put a worker or others at risk of harm. Safety sensitive positions often involve jobs working with heavy machinery, vehicles, or hazardous materials.

Some of the safety-sensitive positions that our team at CannAmm tests for are:

  • Transportation workers
  • Construction workers
  • Workers in the oil, gas, and energy industries
  • Manufacture or warehouse workers
  • Mine workers
  • There are hundreds of other positions that could qualify as safety sensitive. This qualification depends on the responsibilities of a job. Workers who are in these positions pose a direct risk to their safety or to the safety of others.

Why is it important to test in safety sensitive positions?

Drug and alcohol testing helps establish a safe workplace for employees, the public, work property, and the environment. Testing also creates a safety-focused culture. Basing a workplace culture on safety informs each party that impairment from substance use is not tolerated. This reassures a trusting and supportive place for those affected by substance use issues.

Other factors of importance include the impact occupational testing has on the workplace. Drug and alcohol testing for safety sensitive positions can decrease costs associated with incidents, absenteeism, turnover, and increase productivity and workplace morale.

Each of your safety sensitive positions may have different policy requirements, but our team would be happy to go over the details. Ensure that your workplace health and safety program is supported by a safety focused culture. Reach out to build or review your fit for duty program today.



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