Drug / Alcohol Testing
Rationale for Drug Testing:
It is estimated that 75% of current illegal drug users are employed, which accounts for about 10 million employees using illegal drugs, thus making the workplace a focal point for the prevention/intervention of drug abuse.
A Drug Testing Program in the workplace will identify employees using illegal drugs, and offer safety in the workplace. Drug testing is suggested for industrial and transportation workers, among others.
Workplace drug testing is used in five different ways:
Pre-employment or applicant testing (used most commonly);
Post-accident or for cause testing;
Scheduled testing (used during routine physicals)
Random testing (used for job categories involving public safety or security)
Treatment and follow-up testing (used to monitor an employee’s success in remaining drug free).
Urine drug testing is used in identifying employees with potential drug problems. Major corporate employers, covering approximately 20% of employed Americans have adopted this process.
Although urine screening is considered relatively reliable, any drug testing program should retest positive samples with a scientifically valid confirmation test. Care must also be taken in handling urine samples to avoid mislabeling and ensure that test results are valid and reliable.
Legal counsel is advisable for those planning a drug-testing program to avoid unnecessary lawsuits.
In accordance with Federal Motor Carrier Regulations, IOMR is prepared to provide both pre-employment drug testing as well as managing a random drug testing program following chain-of-custody security measures for your employees. All laboratories used will be certified to handle chain-of-custody drug testing, and IOMR will act as the Medical Review Officer (MRO) for your company.
The following substances are tested per DOT requirements:
We will provide the employer with a certified laboratory, a well-documented procedure for collection, shipment, and accessioning of urine specimens.
Depending on the size of the company, the drug testing will be performed on a quarterly basis on a totally random basis. Negative results are provided to the house safety officer/employer. Positive results are reported only after both initial testing and confirmatory testing are both positive and the employee has been contacted to verify his/her results.
Initial testing is done using immunoassay that meets FDA requirements. Confirmatory testing is done using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry techniques and is done on a quantitative basis.
The MRO is responsible for identifying alternative causes for a positive result with the donor prior to reporting the results of the test to the employer.
Breath Alcohol Testing:
IOMR’s staff is certified to conduct Breath Alcohol Tests in accordance with the U.S. Department of Transportation Alcohol Testing Procedures Rules 49CFR Part 40. Our Breath Alcohol Technicians are trained in all aspects of DOT rules and regulations.
As background the U.S. Department of Transportation was mandated by the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 to perform and maintain alcohol testing of “safety sensitive” transportation workers.
Included in this category are:
- Airline pilots and crew membersInterstate and intrastate truck drivers
- School and Church Bus Drivers
- Subway and train operators
- Pipeline workers
- Tests under DOT are required for:
- Random: conducted on a random basis just before, during, or just after performance of safety-sensitive functions.
- Reasonable Suspicion: conducted when a trained person observes behavior or appearance that is characteristic of alcohol misuse.
- Post-Accident: conducted after the occurrence of accidents on surviving employees whose performance could have contributed to the accident.
Return to Duty and follow- up: conducted when an individual who has violated the prohibited alcohol conduct standards completes a Substance Abuse Professional’s recommended treatment and desired to return to safety-sensitive duties. Follow-up tests are unannounced and at least six tests must be conducted in the first 12 months after an employee returns to duty. This may be extended up to 60 months.
Pre employment Breath Alcohol tests are not required under DOT but if given by an employer, then it must be done according to the regulations.
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