If you are a part of the trucking or transportation industry, you must've heard about the DOT drug and alcohol tests or the DOT physical exam. The DOT (Department of Transportation) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) necessitate that you take the random compliance testing programs seriously. It is for your own safety and that of your employees and workplace. Everyone who is associated with the business of transport or is in charge of the operations of a commercial motor vehicle in any way whatsoever is required to take the DOT drug and alcohol test or associate with a third party administrator that can provide them with reliable DOT compliance services. These comprise several steps and are in accordance with FMCSA regulations.
Do The FMCSA Regulations Apply To Me And My Organization?
Yes, the FMCSA regulations would apply to you or any of your employees if they operate (drive) a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV). The gross weight of the vehicle weight should be over 26,011 pounds. These apply to you if the vehicle is specifically designed to transport 16 people or more (this includes the driver as well). These will also apply to you if you are operating a vehicle for the transportation of hazardous materials. This also requires your vehicle to be placarded. As of January 1, 2019, all FMCSA regulated employees are required to go through a random DOT compliance drug and alcohol testing program.
Are There Any Changes In Random Rates?
As of now for the year 2019, there has been a tiny yet important development that tells us that the agency's random rates will not be changed this year. Until any further notices or memos are issued by the FMCSA, all employers and /or supervisors are expected to carry on with their random DOT compliance drug testing routines/alcohol tests on their regulated employees at 25%, and 10% respectively. Keep in mind that the FMCSA will only choose to publish its random rates when there have been any changes.
How Important Is DOT Hair Testing For You?
The Department of Health and Human Services had finished the hair testing guidelines by the end of 2016. According to the latest legislative package, the new law states that hair follicle drug testing will now be a DOT – approved drug testing method.
The completion of these guidelines was the first step. Making it a part of the random DOT tests is a way to reaffirm its importance. There are several trucking companies that are already using hair testing as a part of their random testing procedures carried on before their hiring procedure begins. Other than this urine collection is also a must for all DOT-regulated tests.
However, there is still not much clarity on whether hair testing will be officially counted among the several DOT-approved testing methods in the future or not. We will be able to get a final verdict on this by the end of this year.
Understanding Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse
The proposed rule says that in order to let the FMCSA and regulated motor carrier employers identify unsafe drivers more easily, all the information about the drivers, their violation reports, their evaluation, treatments and test results and their refusals to take the tests and more sensitive data will be submitted to the clearinghouse. It is like a reservoir of information that will help maintain the safety and wellbeing of everyone in the workplace.
The 49 CFR part 382, which is the “Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing” will be revised to establish the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. It will officially go into effect on January 4, 2020. On the date of the implementation all employers will have to report the drug and alcohol violations of all their employees. This information will be collected in their database for the upcoming 5 years. It will be reportable to all current and future employers.
For more information on DOT drug test, random alcohol testing programs, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration guidelines and more, get in touch with DOT compliance group today! We will help you keep abreast of the latest developments in the trucking industry and its safety requirements and the mandatory testing guidelines and more!