Drug screens bar 80 workers from Vogtle site

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Eighty contract workers were denied access to — or evicted from — Plant Vogtle after failing drug tests during 2011, according to reports filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The majority of those workers were associated with the construction zone where site work is under way for the planned addition of Vogtle’s new Units 3 and 4, said Amoi Geter, a Southern Nuclear spokeswoman.

“It shows the process is working as it should,” she said, noting that 3,933 vendors and contractors were evaluated for access during 2011.

Of the 80 who failed the screenings, 55 were pre-access screenings for workers who were not yet authorized to enter the area.

“Those found positive were immediately denied access or removed from the site, based on our policy, which affects both employees and contractors,” she said, adding that none of the barred workers were Southern Nuclear employees.

According to the individual reports, which did not name the workers involved, the failed tests during 2011 included positive results for alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and amphetamines. Workers who refused to submit to a test were counted among those who failed — and were permanently denied access to the site.

The data reported to the NRC each year is also compiled into a larger annual “fitness for duty” report that is required of all nuclear power licensees. Those annual reports will be completed and filed later this year, Geter said.

Reach Rob Pavey at (706) 868-1222, ext. 119,

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BamaMan
3231
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BamaMan 01/18/12 - 05:45 pm
0
0
Heaven forbid ask someone

Heaven forbid ask someone who's filing for government assistance to take a drug test!

TNTHOMSON
2
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TNTHOMSON 01/18/12 - 05:59 pm
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ALL government employees

ALL government employees should be tested for illegal drugs.
But of course local, state and federal employees who fail drug tests would be still eligible for benefits under current law.

A while back in the military E-6 and below ranks (depending upon assignments) were given one failed drug test, E-7 and above were automatically terminated. Should be the same for taxpayer funded assistance programs.

AutumnLeaves
11548
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/19/12 - 12:54 am
0
0
I am quite happy for workers

I am quite happy for workers of ANY type to be drug-tested before employment and randomly thereafter. I don't want to be a patient of some drugged-up doctor, for instance. And I don't want to have nuclear plants built by druggies. And yes, I think anyone receiving any type of government assistance should be tested for drugs, too, one reason being they would think twice about using in the first place if that was the policy and another, they might get help once they faced the fact they have a problem with drugs. Yes, I know it's not that simple, but nothing is.

copperhead
1035
Points
copperhead 01/19/12 - 03:29 am
0
0
EVERYBODY should be drug

EVERYBODY should be drug tested to buy groceries every time they buy groceries. That will stop drug use!

nevertoolate
291
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nevertoolate 01/19/12 - 05:37 am
0
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I worked at Vogtle for 10

I worked at Vogtle for 10 years and they DO have a very strict Fitness For Duty (FFD) program. Good for them, GREAT for the public. If you think of all the problems that come with the drug culture, it is only reasonable that EVERYONE out there is tested. Even the pot smoker has to get their stash from a dealer, part of the criminal element that must be considered...opens up a whole new can of worms when you mix drugs and nuclear. Way to go, Southernco.

avidreader
3944
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avidreader 01/19/12 - 06:44 am
0
0
I notice that one of the

I notice that one of the categories is alcohol. If an employee attends a party on a Sunday afternoon, and takes a blood test on a Monday morning, residual alcohol will show up in the test. Is the occasional, moderate drinker fired, or does the test reveal levels that constitute a pattern of abuse?

I'm just curious. Will someone enlighten me?

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 01/19/12 - 07:38 am
0
0
I was a Unit Drug & Alcohol

I was a Unit Drug & Alcohol NCO for a couple of years in The Army. This entailed watching people pee in the bottles, transporting samples to the lab, etc. It's quite an interesting process, and with the technology getting better + cheaper, you cannot beat the test, period. Anyway as for alcohol, there is no doubt in Vogtle's procedures a minimum "threshold" so trace amounts (such as a weekend party) won't be a problem. And when I retired from the military in 2006 all NCO's (E-5 and above) were discharged for illicit drug use. E-4 + below might be given a second chance, depending on their particular job. An Air Traffic Controller would be sent packing versus a supply clerk, for example. It's really a matter of public safety. A stoned nuclear plant worker is potentially more dangerous than a stoned stay-in-bed welfare collector - thus even if we think everyone getting government money should be tested, there is zero debate when it comes to nuclear power.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
17329
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 01/19/12 - 08:09 am
0
0
Avid, unless you get

Avid, unless you get completely polluted then your body will process the alcohol and it won't show up.. If you keep drinking until 1 or 2 am then you'll smell like a brewery in the morning and that's usually a tipoff!

Rob Pavey
561
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Rob Pavey 01/19/12 - 10:15 am
0
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avidreader, see oldfella's

avidreader, see oldfella's comments above (wish everyone had real names here). I think he is right - the individual NRC reports I downloaded showed high blood alcohol and some were asked to submit because of suspicious behavior. You can also read all the individual reports online by going to www.nrc.gov and clicking ADAMS public documents and then "begin web-based ADAMS search" and then the list uploads and click "January" and then click on documents filed Jan. 12 and the Vogtle tests are scattered among 14 pages of linked pdf reports. Might be TMI but that's how we get the stuff (and I had some help getting there). By the way, we appreciate y'all reading our stories, too.

dwb619
118541
Points
dwb619 01/19/12 - 02:33 pm
0
0
If you have a DUI on your

If you have a DUI on your record, you will be rejected for employment on Units 3and 4 with any of the construction trades.

gadoggirl
0
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gadoggirl 01/19/12 - 01:04 pm
0
0
I worked at SRS, there are

I worked at SRS, there are people that show up everyday reeking of alcohol. Their buddy managers take care of them, one manager even went to the mans house and took him to work. SRS its still a "good ole boys club". They take care of each other out there, even if you come in drunk from the night before, they will hide you out there.

itsanotherday1
54105
Points
itsanotherday1 01/19/12 - 02:50 pm
0
0
Not in the division my wife

Not in the division my wife worked in gadoggirl. I personally know a guy who was bounced for it.

dwb, I think that standard is ridiculous considering the .08 limit for DUI. A lot of people aren't even getting a buzz at that level, and it is not a good predictor of who will be a responsible worker. This is why I think there should be degrees of DUI based on the behavior AND BAC of the accused. Throw the darned book at those caught weaving and/or with BAC >.12. Go less hard on those @ .08 or those not visibly impaired.

dwb619
118541
Points
dwb619 01/19/12 - 02:59 pm
0
0
I'm not arguing about the DUI

I'm not arguing about the DUI rejection clause. Just trying to point out how the strict the rules are for the construction crafts. Also, I read an article several months ago that stated the majority of the "failures' were from vendor employees.
Gadoggirl, if you were aware of the impaired personnel why didn't you call the "tip line"?

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