Pubdate: Tue, 27 Jul 2004
Source: Fort McMurray Today (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 Fort McMurray Today
Author: Kate Dubinski
Bookmark: (Drug Test)


Syncrude Canada employees and contractors working for the oil giant had 
better get ready for some sniffing around.

The company will begin doing random, periodic tests of workers and work 
areas using highly-trained sniffer dogs in August.

"Syncrude is doing its best to ensure safety for everyone, and this is just 
another step in that process," said Syncrude spokesman Randy Provencal. 
"There are items that are prohibited on site and that's what we're looking 

The dogs will monitor entry points, offices, locker rooms, vehicles, buses, 
lunch rooms and shops looking for "a laundry list" of items, including 
contraband drugs or explosives.

"This is one component of an enhanced security plan post-Sept. 11 (2001)," 
Provencal said. "We've added security check points, we're beefing up access 
controls on-site. One thing 9/11 did do ... was show us that maybe we all 
need to look at our security measures.

"What it boils down to for Syncrude is making sure we have a safe workplace 
for everyone."

With 10,000 workers on site at the same time on any given day, Provencal 
said security monitoring is essential.

"We're not targeting any one group; it's not about Syncrude employees or 
contractors -- everyone's going to be treated the same," he said. "If you 
have nothing to hide, it shouldn't be a problem. We hope everyone sees that 
our motive is a safe workplace."

Random checks are done now on buses and entry points, but not using 
detection dogs, Provencal said.

"It's totally random, and it won't happen every day. If the detection dog 
does arrive at something, it will react appropriately."

Though drug use on-site isn't "rampant," Provencal said he there have been 

"I wouldn't necessarily say there's a problem, but have there been 
instances? Yes. And even one instance is too many. A safe workplace is in 
everyone's best interest."

Syncrude employees are given a pre-employment drug test. They are also 
tested "post-incident" if there is a cause to test them.

Last December, a contract employee was arrested after a possible explosive 
device was found in the Syncrude parking lot.
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