There are over 10,000 companies that operate commercial trucks in Kentucky, according to data from the Kentucky Trucking Association. While many of these are small and locally owned, there are federal regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT) that are important to follow if you work in this industry in Kentucky. One of the main federal regulations involves drug testing. These rules are very strict, so it’s important to choose a company that can help you find drug testing locations that meet the DOT’s requirements.
At Fleet Drug Testing, we offer drug testing programs that follow the DOT’s rules. We can help employers and employees in important jobs across Kentucky, from Lexington to Louisville to Bowling Green.
No matter whether you’re driving along the Bluegrass Parkway or Interstate 24, our experienced team will make sure your test results are accurate and that you follow the DOT’s rules throughout Kentucky. If you want to learn more or start the process, just contact us today. We’re here to help you stay on the road.
The DOT’s drug testing program is a set of rules required by the government. It applies to workers in “safety-sensitive” jobs, like truck drivers, bus drivers, pilots, air traffic controllers, and train engineers. These jobs affect the safety of others. In Kentucky, following the DOT’s drug testing program is necessary for getting a license. The program includes:
- Pre-employment testing – Before getting hired for a safety-sensitive job, employees need to pass a drug and alcohol test.
- Random testing – Employers randomly select employees for drug and alcohol testing. At least half of the employees should undergo drug testing, and at least 10% should undergo alcohol testing within a year.
- Reasonable suspicion testing – If there is a good reason to believe that an employee is under the influence, they must be tested as required by the DOT.
- Post-accident testing – After accidents at work that cause death, serious injury, or property damage, the involved employee must be tested for drugs and alcohol.
- Return-to-duty testing – If an employee tests positive, they must complete substance abuse treatment and pass a test before going back to their safety-sensitive job.
- Follow-up testing – Employees who tested positive and returned to work must undergo regular follow-up testing.
The DOT requires drug testing using urine or saliva samples to check for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and PCP. Certified facilities in Kentucky do these tests.
In terms of procedure, a DOT-compliant drug test proceeds in the following way:
- Employers inform employees about the testing procedures, including when and where it will take place.
- A trained collector at the testing site collects a urine sample from the employee. They label and seal the sample properly to prevent tampering.
- The sample is divided into two containers: the primary and split specimens. The primary specimen is sent to a certified laboratory for testing, while the split specimen is kept at the collection site in case there are any issues with the test results.
- The primary specimen is analyzed at a certified laboratory using a test called immunoassay. If the result is positive, a more precise test called gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is done to confirm it.
- A Medical Review Officer (MRO) reviews the test results and contacts the employee if there is a positive result. The MRO asks the employee about any prescription medications they are taking that could have affected the result. If the employee has a valid medical explanation, the result is reported as negative.
- The MRO reports the test results to the employer. If there is a positive result, the employee must be immediately taken off safety-sensitive duties, and the employer may need to report the positive result to the DOT.
- Employees who test positive must undergo a substance abuse evaluation and follow a program of follow-up testing. They need to test negative on a return-to-duty test before they can go back to their safety-sensitive duties.
Just like any other aspect of your business, there are both advantages and disadvantages to the drug testing requirements set by the DOT. It’s important to remember that these regulations are mandatory, so you must follow them to continue operating. However, it can be helpful to consider some of the benefits and drawbacks of DOT drug testing.
- Enhances safety – Drug testing helps ensure a safer work environment by identifying and deterring substance abuse among employees in safety-sensitive roles.
- Promotes compliance – Following DOT drug testing regulations demonstrates your commitment to compliance with industry standards and legal requirements.
- Protects company reputation – Implementing drug testing helps safeguard your company’s reputation by reducing the risk of accidents or incidents caused by impaired employees.
- Maintains employee health – Identifying and addressing substance abuse issues through drug testing can support your employees’ well-being and contribute to a healthier workforce.
- Impacts on productivity – Drug testing procedures may disrupt daily operations, particularly during testing periods, which can impact productivity and workflow.
- Potential for false positives – Drug tests may sometimes yield false-positive results, which can be concerning and may require additional testing or investigation, leading to temporary work disruptions.
- Invasion of privacy – Drug testing is invasive and may be viewed as a violation of employee privacy, potentially affecting morale and trust within the company.
In summary, the DOT drug testing program offers numerous benefits for transportation companies throughout Kentucky. By working with our team, we can take the guesswork out of finding a convenient testing location and all of the other responsibilities that come with complying with the DOT drug testing program.
If your business relies on transportation anywhere in Kentucky, you need to stay compliant with DOT regulations. So, it’s very important that you and your employees can have access to convenient drug testing locations throughout the Bluegrass State. At Fleet Drug Testing, our programs can make sure you stay up to date on DOT regulations and can keep your business moving. Contact us today to get started or look through our programs to find what works for you.