Acclimatizing drug testing tools to French workplaces - Sciences Po Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2019

Acclimatizing drug testing tools to French workplaces


Since the late 1980s, drug testing in the workplace has been the subject of many works. Amongst them, their policy and legal implications, use as surveillance and/or social control tools, and/or discrimination employment impacts. In Europe even if the diffusion of drug testing as a management technique is fairly new, most of the existing studies keep asking the same questions. Here, drawing from both science and technology studies and legal sociology, we analyze the regulatory processes by which drug testing is "acclimatized" to French workplaces. Previous work focused on two dynamics. The first takes place primarily at a national level: technical quality and potential uses of drug tests are evaluated upstream by several French agencies against labour and legal norms. The second dynamic is transnational: it involves international networks of actors made up of pharmaceutical giants, learned societies of toxicologists and pharmacologists as well as public or private bodies that compete through common efforts to formalize new technical and legal standards for the use of drug testing in European workplaces. Paradoxically, these two dynamics remains unclear the regulatory framework surrounding the conditions of use of drug testing by French companies. Nevertheless, this legal uncertainty appears as a resource for small drug testing providers. By treating them as intermediaries between science, labour standards and commercial interests, we characterize the different tactics and register arguments they use to suit drug testing devices to the needs for prevention of occupational hazards due to the use of illegal psychoactive substances within French companies. Finally, we examine the way French courts judge the legal and technical arrangements set up by these intermediairies.
No file

Dates and versions

hal-02989583 , version 1 (05-11-2020)



Renaud Crespin. Acclimatizing drug testing tools to French workplaces: The role of learned society and service providers in times of legal uncertainty. Law and Society Association 2019 Annual Meeting -, May 2019, Washington, United States. ⟨hal-02989583⟩
20 View
0 Download


Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More