5 Tips for Successful DOT Random Drug Testing

Companies that are required to conduct random drug and alcohol testing under the DOT are subject to many rules to ensure compliance throughout the process.  Listed below are a few tips to help complete the random testing process successfully.

#1: Don’t tell the employee.

The element of surprise is essential for effective DOT Random Drug Test.  Giving employees the heads up or a warning about testing can cause some employees to curb their activity in a way that ensures a negative test result.  The primary goal in performing DOT drug and alcohol testing is to protect public safety.

#2: Only include DOT safety-sensitive employees in the sample.

It is important to remember that only DOT safety-sensitive employees may be part of the random pool selected for the DOT random pool, and that all personnel considered to be in a safety sensitive position (regardless of title or rank) or subject to DOT random testing.

#3:  Use a scientific selection process

A scientifically valid method of selection must be used when selecting individuals to be tested.  This can include a random selection table, or an electronic numbers generator.  Unacceptable forms of selection include, drawing names out of a hat, drawing draws or rolling dice.

#4: Combine pools if you operate under multiple DOT modes.

Companies that have DOT safety-sensitive employees operating under more than one of the DOT modes may combine the employees into a single random pool.  However, the employer must test at or above the highest minimum annual random testing rates established by the DOT Agencies under whose jurisdiction the employees fall.
Important: PHMSA and USCG do not authorize random alcohol testing for employees in the pipeline and maritime industries. So if employees perform only pipeline duties or maritime duties, they cannot be in any DOT-regulated random alcohol testing pool.

#5 Document everything!

For the company’s and the employee’s protection it is important to document all names, notification dates and collection dates and times.  Maintaining a clean and organized record of the entire Random Testing process will be helpful in the case of an audit or other legal investigation.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Secretary Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance: Best Practices for DOT Random Drug and Alcohol Testing
http://www.dot.gov/odapc/rates.html

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