Drug and alcohol screening procedures are implemented for safety, but they may also have unintended consequences. This sort of testing may help keep your work safe and your personnel healthy, which is beneficial to your company on many levels.
Are you new to the transportation industry? Do you perform safety-sensitive duties, such as working on an aircraft, as defined by the US Department of Transportation (DOT)? Then the DOT drug and alcohol testing in the workplace is prevalent. Continue reading to learn more about the FAA’s drug and alcohol testing policy.
What is the essential information about the FAA program?
Whether your business has a drug-free company policy or is mandated by a regulatory body such as the FAA Drug Testing or the Department of Transportation (DOT) to perform random drug and alcohol screening, it is critical to executing the procedure correctly. Here are the six essential things to know about the FAA program:
Do employees need to know about the regulations?
Each supervisor of covered workers must receive one hour of education on the consequences of illegal substances on the human body. It must include the prerequisites of the FAA required drug system (like 49 CFR part 40 and 14 CFR part 120), as well as one hour of education on the impact of alcohol and related substances on the body and the FAA alcohol misuse protection program as required by FAA regulations (49 CFR part 40 and 14 CFR part 120). You may do drug testing education provided by the FAA in person or through teleconference.
Are employers responsible for the programs?
As an operator, you are accountable for ensuring that this part’s standards and procedures are followed. All activities taken by your officials, agents, and representatives (including service staff) in following the obligations of the DOT agency rules are your responsibility.
All written or unpublished agreements and accommodations between and among employers and service agents regarding the application of DOT drug and alcohol testing standards are considered to require complying with all relevant provisions of this part.
Who are Medical Review Officers (MROs), and what do they do?
MROs are qualified doctors with expertise and clinical experience in drug addiction problems, according to DOT rules. They must also complete certification training courses and meet continuing education requirements. They act as independent, unbiased guardians for the DOT drug testing program’s accuracy and integrity. Before a corporation is notified of a laboratory result, it is submitted to an MRO for verification. Before validating the findings as positive, contaminated, or replaced, the MRO evaluates each test and eliminates any reasonable medical explanation for quality and accuracy protection.
Can you take prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines while doing safety-sensitive tasks?
Prescription and over-the-counter medications may be permitted. You must, however, satisfy the following basic requirements:
- A licensed specialist, such as the primary physician, prescribes the drug.
- The treating/prescribing practitioner has made a reasonable judgment that using the medication at the prescribed or approved dose level is safe for performing the job.
- Suppose you are being handled by more than one healthcare professional. In that case, you must establish that at least one of them has been aware of all prescription and permitted drugs and has concluded that their use is compatible with the safe execution of your tasks, according to the FRA.
Consider giving your doctor a complete description of your employment to help them prescribe the most acceptable possible therapy. It’s possible that just having a title isn’t enough. Many firms offer workers a written, thorough explanation of their job tasks, which they may present to their physicians during the test.
Will you lose your job if you break the drug and alcohol laws?
DOT laws do not cover employment activities like hiring, dismissing, and providing leaves of absence. Employers are solely responsible for all employment choices. The fundamental responsibility for companies under federal rules is to remove individuals from DOT safety-sensitive occupations quickly. Be warned that a positive DOT drug or alcohol screening, or a refusal to take one, may result in further repercussions, depending on the business policy or employment contract.
Will the findings be kept private?
Your lab tests are kept private. Without your express authorization, an employer or service agency (e.g., testing laboratory, MRO, or SAP) may not release your test findings to other parties. However, employers can share your test data in some circumstances, such as legal procedures undertaken by you. When the information is revealed, the employer must tell you in writing.
Will your performance be carried over to other employers?
If a DOT agency regulates your new employment, your drug and alcohol testing record will accompany you there. Employers are obligated by law to furnish your new employer with your drug and alcohol testing history records. This is to check that you have finished the return-to-duty procedure and are tested by your post-return-to-duty testing schedule.
Your company won’t survive if it doesn’t follow all of the laws and regulations, including completing FAA drug and alcohol detection methods. Failure to adhere to the law will lead to a penalty and, in the worst-case scenario, a suspension of your activities. The points given above will help you make a good choice. Get your personnel tested for drugs and alcohol to stay compliant with standards and keep your company going ahead.