Editorial Archive

Making the TTC even safer is our duty

4/22/16 6:00 AM

At its March 23 meeting, the TTC Board approved a staff recommendation to introduce random testing for any TTC staff subject to our Fitness for Duty policy. This policy covers any TTC employee that performs safety-sensitive work, such as operators and maintenance staff, as well as people in a position to make safety-critical decisions, such as me and my Executive team.

Since 2010, the TTC has tested for alcohol and drugs post-incident, for reasonable cause, post-treatment and pre-employment to ensure that no one in a safety-sensitive role is impaired in the course of their duties.

As a former safety director, I passionately believe that the TTC must take every possible step to ensure the safety of customers, pedestrians, other road users and, of course, our own employees – a sentiment that I know is shared by every member of TTC staff.

Recent incidents and test results show an increase in instances where impairment was a factor – and we cannot ignore that fact. Random testing is normal practice in many jurisdictions around the world and I myself, have been randomly tested in every other transit system that I have worked. It is also common practice in the aviation industry.

I know that some may not agree with our decision to proceed with what may be seen as an infringement of individual rights, though we test only for impairment at the time of the test. But my firm view is that the safety of TTC users takes precedence and I am confident that our employees understand and support this position as we move you around this great city, day in and day out.

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