Employee Testing For Department Of Transportation DOT



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F. Y. I.



Businesses under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) are required to follow its regulations regarding employee drug testing. These businesses include trucking, railways, airlines and other businesses where public safety and transportation is concerned. The rules regarding what an employer can and can not do are much the same as general employee testing with the exception of a few additional requirements. To get you started, here are the basics to DOT testing.

Pre-Employment: As part of the recruitment and hiring process many business' require an applicant to pass a drug test before hiring. This is the most common type of testing done by businesses. If a prospective applicant tests positive for an illegal drug permitted to be tested, an employer has the right not to hire the applicant. All safety-sensitive employees (railway engineers, public transportation drivers, truck drivers, etc.) are required to submit to a drug urine screen before hiring under current DOT guidelines.

Random Employee Testing: Businesses regulated by the DOT with over 50 safety-sensitive employees are required to randomly test 50% of their workforce for the 5 main classes of NIDA-regulated drugs of abuse (opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, PCP and marijuana) in one year. In addition, these business must randomly test 25% of all employees for alcohol over the course of one year.

DOT-regulated businesses with under 50 safety-sensitive employees may join a consortium with other DOT businesses for the purpose of fulfilling the drug testing requirements. The consortium is required to randomly test 50% of the shared workforce for the NIDA 5 class of drugs and 25% of the workforce for alcohol over the course of one year.

Suspicion: Employers may require an employee to submit to a drug or alcohol test if there is sufficient suspicion the employee is impaired during work.

Post-Accident: DOT businesses are required to submit employees to a drug test immediately following a work-related accident. Specimens for drug tests must be collected within two hours of an accident

DOT Requirements
NIDA Drug Profiles: DOT-regulated businesses are required to test employees for the 5 main classes of NIDA-regulated substances regardless of the testing policy used. This includes: opiates, amphetamines, cocaine, PCP, marijuana (THC). In addition, safety-sensitive employees are required to be tested for alcohol except during Pre-Employment testing. Safety-sensitive employees may be tested for alcohol using Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) and/or urinalysis. Blood Alcohol testing is no longer required. Employers are not permitted to test non-NIDA regulated drugs or take action based on such results.

NIDA Certified Laboratory: DOT employee urine specimens must be analyzed by specially approved laboratories which adhere to NIDA's rules governing laboratory testing.

Chain of Custody: To ensure the accuracy of a result, a detailed Chain of Custody file must be maintained detailing the progress of an employee's sample through the entire collection, testing and reporting process. This includes initials/signatures from employee to specimen collector to lab courier and all laboratory personnel receiving the specimen for screening and confirmation testing as well as reporting back to the employer. Failure to produce documentation may make an employee drug screen legally invalid.

Record Keeping: All DOT employee testing records must be maintained in the event that disciplinarian action is warranted. All testing information is considered confidential to protect the employee, but employers are required to file regular Management Information System (MIS) reports with the DOT regarding testing performed on their current workforce.

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