Despite COVID-19, Drug and Alcohol Testing Continues with Added Precautions
COVID-19 has certainly thrown numerous curveballs, and we as humans have shown our selves to be incredibly adaptable and the trucking industry has been no exception. Government agencies on both the Canadian and American sides of the border have been accommodating on many facets in an industry that is heavily regulated and monitored.
But there are some exceptions that cannot be made for everyone’s safety. As such there are no exemptions for drug and alcohol testing despite COVID-19.
DOT-regulated employers must still participate in random testing for drivers. That being said, the DOT has provided guidance while COVID-19 still impacts the running of business.
First, if employers are not able to conduct DOT drug or alcohol training or testing due to a COVID-19 related issue (supply shortage, facility closures, government closures, etc), then you can fill out applicable DOT documents stating why a test was not completed. If the test or training can be completed at a later date, you can do so with applicable modal regulations.
Next, if employers are not able to conduct DOT drug and alcohol testing because of lack of testing resources then the underlying modal regulations still apply. For example, without a negative pre-employment drug test result, a current or prospective employee cannot perform any DOT safety-sensitive actions.
Lastly, it is up to the employer to determine whether an employee’s refusal to comply to testing is legitimate and not in violation of CFR § 40.355. Employers are asked to be sensitive to employees who say that they are not comfortable to go to clinics or collections sites.
Your Role as the Employer
It’s recommended that if your employee gets selected for random drug and alcohol testing, you conduct a pre-screening for COVID-19 before notifying and sending the employee for testing. If the employee has COVID-19 symptoms, then it is recommended that their testing gets pushed until later in the random testing quarter.
If you have any tests that don’t get completed before the end of the testing quarter, be sure to document why (for example: Driver had COVID-19 symptoms or government closures) and have them made up as soon as possible. Random tests that get completed out of the selected quarter, but before year end still count towards your companies testing numbers.
If you use DriverCheck for your testing, all staff are required to wear full contact and droplet protection equipment during the entire collection procedure. They also conduct COVID-19 pre-screening at all company clinics and third-party clinics. This will hopefully allay any fears drivers may have of getting their testing completed.
Remember, the law still requires that Drug and Alcohol testing continue, so to stay compliant and avoid any fines, drivers must comply.
PSTC can help you out by reviewing the drug and alcohol report to make sure your operation is compliant with the law, and to help you keep a great safety rating. Just one more way a compliance service provider can help you create the best business running!