When it is time for your employees to complete their DOT-required drug testing, it’s key for them to do so correctly. Failure to follow the required procedure can result in delays, license suspension, and more.
To help, we have compiled the key information about DOT compliance requirements for trucking companies in the United States. With this info, you can help your employees follow their DOT requirements.
Identifying Employees Who Need to Be Tested
Not every one of your company’s employees needs to be DOT substance tested. However, if your employee falls under the DOT’s Commercial Motor Carrier (FMCSA) category, they must be substance tested.
Communicating Testing Procedures to Your Employees
Your business must have a drug and alcohol policy. It should address the procedures, expectations, and limitations that govern those policies.
Moreover, that policy must be communicated to all covered employees. DOT regulated employers like your business are required to transparently communicate your drug and alcohol program.
While the DOT does not stipulate how the procedures are communicated to employees (i.e. printed versus digital), they do outline what must appear within the policy documentation.
Required Elements of Your Drug and Alcohol Policy
Per DOT regulations, a successful drug and alcohol policy must provide information to your employees about:
- The categories of employees who are affected by the policy
- Details about the portion of the work day in which the policy is relevant
- Prohibited conduct
- Specific substance abuse testing procedures
- And more
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FMCSA website has a full list of requirements. They also offer a resource for DOT regulated employers who need help with their policy development.
More than anything, trucking safety manager duties and responsibilities require that you communicate fully and transparently about expectations to your employees.
Your company must also assign and identify a full time employee who shall be the Designated Employer Representative. They handle many of the substance abuse testing functions during their working hours.
They should be tasked with receiving and processing all testing results and are deputized to remove employees from service if they fail their test.
Drug and Alcohol Testing Program Refusals
DOT compliance requirements offer definitions for each of the test statuses as they pertain to an employee. One of those statuses is a refusal. However, a refusal to test can be defined in several ways:
- Failure to appear for a urine test
- Failure to remain at the urine test collection site
- Failure to provide a urine sample
- Failure to permit a monitored urine collection
- Failure to provide a sufficient amount of urine
- And more
The full list is available in the DOT’s guidance and best practices documentation.
The Return-to-Service Process
Unannounced substance testing is your company’s main defense against safety violations. But if an employee refuses or fails their test, a return-to-service process is automatically put into place.
This process is laid out by your company’s Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). It must be completed successfully by the violating employee before they may return to safety-sensitive duties.
Key details about the process include:
- A follow-up testing plan outline, drafted by the SAP
- Conducted tests for drugs, alcohol, or both
- Six follow up tests complete and negative within the first 12 months
- The possibility of an extension of follow-up tests for up to five years
Find DOT Substance Abuse Testing Resources
American River Wellness provides resources and insights about all of the DOT’s requirements and testing procedures. To ensure your company is compliant, browse our DOT-SAP information or access our helpful resources.