Working in Ohio’s transportation industry is usually pretty solid, given the demand for moving goods and the state’s location being an access point to different parts of the country. However, what sets working in this industry apart from others is that you have to follow strict federal regulations set by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Among the most important of these regulations involves being drug tested.
At Fleet Drug Testing, our skilled team provides various testing programs to make sure you stay in line with all state and federal regulations. We help you find convenient testing locations all across Ohio, whether you’re traveling along major highways like Interstate 270 in Columbus, Interstate 75 in Cincinnati or cruising on Interstate 90 through Cleveland. Don’t wait–contact our team today to get started.
Why Do You Need to be Drug Tested in Ohio?
DOT regulations are strict for a reason. Not only does it provide uniformity across the entire nationwide industry, but it has the added benefit of making everyone on the road safe–at least in theory. When it comes to drug testing, certain employees in Ohio, known by the term “safety-sensitive”, have to be drug tested as part of the DOT’s overall drug testing program. These employees are those in the industry whose daily work involves the safety of not just themselves, but others. Typically, these include:
- Truck drivers
- Bus drivers
- Air traffic controllers
- Ship captains and crew
- Train conductors
- Railroad workers
Because the DOT’s overall goal is the safety of everyone on the road, in the air, or on the railway, drug testing is simply part of the process. There are, however, other reasons why this testing is in place:
- Preventing accidents – Drug use leading to impairment can result in accidents and harm. Regular drug testing helps avoid such incidents by identifying and dealing with potential problems before they impact safety.
- Avoiding legal issues – Transportation companies must follow federal regulations from the Department of Transportation (DOT). Regular drug testing is a crucial part of following these rules, as not doing so can lead to penalties and legal issues.
- Fostering a drug-free environment – Drug testing is part of an effort to establish and maintain a workplace free from drugs. This promotes safety and fosters a professional environment.
- Protection – Drug testing ensures the well-being of both employers and employees. Employers can trust their workforce is capable, and employees can rely on colleagues not being impaired by substances that might risk safety.
Understanding the need for drug testing, at least from your perspective as an employee, is important. But day-to-day, getting drug tested under DOT regulations can sometimes be stressful. That’s why it’s important to understand how it actually works.
DOT Drug Testing Process in Ohio
The good news is that even though the DOT’s drug testing process is strictly controlled and powerfully regulated, it’s also fairly straightforward. In other words, you know exactly when and how you’ll be tested if you work in the transportation industry in Ohio. Here’s a look at the process of a DOT drug test:
- Pre-employment testing – Conducted before hiring, ensuring new employees are drug and alcohol-free before taking on safety-sensitive jobs.
- Post-accident testing – Carried out after work-related accidents to check if drugs or alcohol may have played a role.
- Random testing – Employees are randomly selected throughout the year for drug and alcohol testing, with rates set by the DOT (Department of Transportation). Currently, 50% are tested for drugs and 10% for alcohol, promoting a safer work environment.
- Return-to-duty testing – For employees who previously tested positive or violated DOT regulations, they must undergo testing to demonstrate they no longer use substances and are fit for safety-sensitive duties.
- Follow-up testing – After completing the return-to-duty process, ongoing testing ensures employees remain drug and alcohol-free to maintain their safety-sensitive positions.
Following these regulations can be challenging, but staying drug-free is the best way to guarantee compliance.
DOT drug testing regulations are both strict and comprehensive, focusing on testing for five substances:
The primary testing method is currently a urine or “oral fluid” test, with a defined process:
- Notification – You’re first informed about the need for drug testing and the requirements.
- Collection – A trained collector gathers a urine or other sample following proper procedures.
- Split samples – The collected sample is divided into two containers (A and B), sealed in front of the individual to create separate samples for testing.
- Laboratory testing – The sample is sent to a certified laboratory approved by the DOT for testing drug or alcohol substances.
- Review by a Medical Review Officer (MRO) – The MRO reviews the results and contacts you if necessary.
- Reporting – The MRO informs your employer about the test results.
- Corrective action – Based on the results, appropriate actions are taken. A positive test may result in removal from the safety-sensitive position, requiring completion of a substance abuse treatment program before returning to work.
As an employee, following DOT guidelines is very important to your career. Not passing a drug test may happen, but continued rule-breaking will only hurt your future prospects, and in the short-term will make it difficult for you to make a living.
That’s why you should do the following when you’re selected for testing:
- Avoid substances causing false positives; tell the MRO about prescribed medications.
- Stay hydrated, but not excessively, to avoid a “negative dilute” result; inform the collector of any sampling issues.
- Follow collector instructions, bringing a valid photo ID.
Fleet Drug Testing Can Make Drug Testing Easy in Ohio
Your job security relies on following the DOT’s regulations, which includes reporting for drug testing at certain reliable testing sites. For those in Ohio that need a DOT drug testing location, Fleet Drug Testing is here to help.
Our programs guarantee compliance with DOT regulations, and our network of certified testing locations meets all the necessary criteria. Explore our enrollment page to discover a program that suits your needs, or contact us today to get started.