Many employers we speak to understand the importance and necessity of drug testing their drivers. However, many do not know where to start because the implementation of a drug misuse program can be a huge undertaking for companies of any size.
A successful and compliant drug program involves strategic planning, detailed administration, legal oversight and constant monitoring. Small employers may be overwhelmed by the demands and expectations while even large employers may be lost in the complex elements of a driver safety program.
How a DOT drug consortium can help you manage your drug program
Employers can join a consortium in order to alleviate some of the above challenges associated with the development and management of a drug program.
A consortium is a large group of drivers made up of smaller companies. In order to stay compliant with the DOT regulations 49 CFR Part 40 certain commercial motor vehicle operators are subject to random drug and alcohol tests.
There are many advantages to joining a consortia, however, it is important to remember that if your selected consortium in not in compliance with federal regulations, neither is your company. Furthermore, you will be held accountable for the consortium’s non-compliance.
What to look for when selecting a DOT consortium for your business:
When you utilize a consortium for your drug and alcohol testing administration needs, it is important to know that they are acting on your behalf. You need to ensure they select the best collection sites, laboratories MROs’ and SAPs for you.
The services they offer need to fit your needs and, more importantly, follow Part 40 of the appropriate DOT agency regulations.
To help you evaluate and ultimately select the right consortium, here are a few items to keep in mind:
- Do they have a reputation for systematically reviewing and evaluating the work of their services agents, including collection sites and collectors?
- Which testing records will they maintain on your behalf?
- How often are random drug testing selections made?
- Can they provide an outline of how the random drug testing program works?
- Is there a point of contact for you to contact during the days and times that fit your operational schedule?
- Do they have someone available to answer any of your regulations questions?
- Are they willing to address any concerns you may have regarding a service agent’s performance?
- Are they willing to take necessary corrective actions following a DOT inspection?
- Are records they maintain for you accessible in a timely manner?
- How willing are they to be held accountable for serious service agent errors?
There are several ways to find a consortium that is right for you and your business needs. The USCG publishes “Drug and Alcohol Program Inspectors Drug Testing Service Agents” and it provides a listing of service agents by state and those who have nationwide services.
HealthCare for Business (HCFB), as a provider of Occupational Medicine services, has organized a consortium of small and medium sized trucking firms for the purpose of performing random drug and alcohol screen in accordance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations.
At this time, random drug and alcohol screens for FMCSA covered firms is 50% for drug screen and 10% for alcohol screen for eligible drivers of a company annually. Aligning with HCFB consortium removes the company from the responsibility of determining the random draws, maintains records for DOT evaluation and is a component for Drug Free Safety Program premium discounts through the Bureau of Workers Compensation.
For more information on HealthCare for Business’ DOT and CDL services, including the consortium, click here.