The updated Network Rail Drugs and Alcohol standard (NR/L2/OHS/00120), published on 3 September 2022, will see an increase from 5% to 20% of all safety critical colleagues to be randomly selected for a D&A test each year. The standard will also see the drugs Ketamine and Tramadol added to the substance testing panel, while Propoxyphene has been removed. For more information please visit Network Rail’s dedicated website page.

RISQS audits are currently verifying and validating that companies have processes and plans in place to test 20% of employees over the coming year. 

This means auditors are required to check that suppliers can evidence their usual 5% testing requirement from the previous year as well as demonstrate a plan as to how they intend to achieve 20% for the coming year. 

The plan will need to show evidence that compliance can be reached by the anniversary of the standard date (03/03/2024) whilst ensuring the random nature of the requirement is maintained. 

If you have any questions, please contact  

In case you missed it 

Behind the scenes, RISQS have been at the forefront of discussions to develop new health and safety techniques in practical ways. One such way has been for RISQS to convene a meeting with industry buyers and suppliers, together with six leading UK and European research teams in the drug and alcohol testing space, including NHS researchers and the European Testing Commission, to share the latest and most sophisticated techniques within this field. You can read about this work on the RISQS website.