Have you reviewed your drug and alcohol policy lately? If the answer is no, now would be a good time. Reviewing your policy will make sure you have not missed any laws and best practices that might have changed, while your policy has stayed the same. Giving you the chance to correct the situation before it is too late!
We can definitely review your policy and procedures to make sure you are in compliance at any time. If you would like a quick reference, use the following checklist to minimize your liability.
Are you DOT regulated?
Are you affiliated with one of the following agencies?
- Federal Aviation Administration (FFA)
- Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
- United States Coast Guard (USCG)
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)
If the answer is Yes, then you are regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
o Yes, we are DOT regulated
You need to make sure to have a proper training, procedures, and testing program in place.
o No, we are not DOT regulated
Your drug and alcohol policy it ultimately up to you. You can follow all DOT regulations, some of them, or come up with your own policy. You may feel that your organization does not need to follow the same strict rules laid out by the DOT. If this is the case, we recommend to protect yourself and your company by letting an expert review your policy and procedures.
Do you have a written drug and alcohol testing policy?
It is strongly recommended that you get a written policy into place! Here are just a few reasons why.
- It sends a message to existing and new employees about what is allowed and prohibited in your workplace.
- It allows you to reinforce how workplace safety is important to an employer.
- It makes clear what employees should do if they see something potentially problematic.
- A policy can become a good vehicle for discussion.
- You can also explain resources available to your employees if they are seeking help for issues but are not sure where it is safe to turn.
- You can make it crystal clear what are the consequences for violating your policies, thus avoiding the excuse of “They never told us.”
Good! But make sure it is up to date!
Do you have an active drug and alcohol training program in place?
It is your responsibility as an employer to get your people on the same page when it comes to what is allowed and prohibited in your workplace. It’s clearly one of the best things you can do to minimize liability, because it shows you took the issue seriously. You made sure that everyone was walked through the written policies, and you gave people a chance to ask questions and push back, based on their previous understandings. Bringing awareness to your workplace and hopefully preventing potential accidents from happening.
How often are existing employees trained?
o We don’t have a schedule
You should consider adopting a training schedule and a trainer. This will take out the likelihood of forgetting to offer training.
o We have a training schedule
Confirm that the training has been happening at the correct frequency.
Do you have a drug and alcohol testing program in place?
Of course we think it is a great idea to have drug and alcohol testing, being that is our business. But we also think it’s only common sense that policies and training need to be backed up by verification.
That is GREAT! Confirm that testing is in fact happening at the frequency stated in your written policy.