Many of our commercial clients get confused regarding the difference between zero alcohol cut-off levels and zero-tolerance in the workplace. Here we provide some important guidance to help clear up the confusion.
Cut-off levels for alcohol testing using a breathalyser is required for two reasons:
In addition, environmental factors and the consumption or use of other products can influence a breath alcohol result. Therefore we also ask if certain products have been used or consumed prior to obtaining a breath sample.
To add some context to this, we have listed breath alcohol cut-off levels (correct at time of writing) for your reference:
Zero-tolerance means you will not get a second chance. The police have a zero-tolerance policy to drink driving. For example, anyone over the limit in and England, Wales, and Northern Ireland of 35 µg/100ml will be prosecuted.
Another example of this is Network Rail. They have a zero-tolerance policy to alcohol use and have set a cut-off level of 14 µg/100ml due to the safety critical nature of the work they do. Anyone who fails an alcohol test is not given a second chance and receives a 5-year ban from working for Network Rail.
Hopefully this information is useful and will help you decide on the breath alcohol cut-off levels appropriate for your business. In terms of zero-tolerance, this again depends on the nature of your business and whether you are prepared to give employees a second chance by providing support and rehabilitation. Our advice would always be the latter approach.
Crystal Health Group
The Old Chapel