Random testing at King's Cross and Terminal 5 exposes alcohol use on site by workers

Workers on two key sites in London have been sacked after failing alcohol tests.

At King's Cross, where major regeneration works are under way, a man understood to be an agency worker working for Emcor was fired last Saturday after failing an alcohol test.

In a separate incident on Monday a worker had his pass removed and deactivated as he failed an alcohol test at the Terminal 5 development at London's Heathrow airport.

A spokesperson for BAA confirmed the dismissal: "There is a zero tolerance policy on alcohol."

BAA stepped up its drug-testing procedures in April on its flagship T5 site after random checks suggested that many workers could be working under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The news emerged as union sources said there were growing concerns that safety standards were slipping on sites as workers were tempted to drink alcohol while watching afternoon World Cup football games.

The spokesperson at BAA dismissed this as pure speculation.

An HSE spokesperson no specific action had been taken in the wake of the World Cup but the dangers of working on site under the influence of alcohol were addressed as a matter of course.

There is a zero tolerance policy on alcohol

BAA spokesperson

The move came after a series of random tests showed that about 6% of all those tested were positive for alcohol and drugs including cannabis and cocaine.

The airports operator, which has just accepted acquisition terms from Spanish contractor Ferrovial, has introduced monthly random tests in a bid to curb drug and alcohol use on the site.

It is understood the evidence in April showed that drug and alcohol use on the site had fallen since the project began.

The problems at T5 came under the spotlight as Wembley stadium was exposed by a tabloid newspaper over workers using drugs on the site. Contractor Multiplex has vowed to investigate the problem.

The issue of drug testing is still a sensitive one in the construction industry with unions worried that it may infringe workers human rights, although workers on rail and underground sites are still subjected to rigorous testing.

Emcor declined to comment.