Some Big Changes Came From The DOT In 2017

If you’re a business that needs to remain compliant with the drug testing workplace requirements of the Department of Transportation, then you know that there are many regulations you need to observe. For many businesses, 2017 was a pretty big year, as the DOT instituted some big changes to make the workplace safer, and to make drug testing more efficient. Here are a few of the highlights.

Electronic Submission

Before 2017, there was a lot more paperwork involved in the administration of drug testing. Many people can tell you about the Custody & Control Forms that needed to fill out, with five parts to them, that made for much paperwork. In 2017, that form got an electronic equivalent, and this made it much easier for everyone, from the businesses themselves to the labs doing testing, to handle the data that was required to conduct a test from start to finish.

A Record Of Workers

Another major addition and one that is still ongoing even now was the creation of the FMCSA Clearinghouse. This was essentially a database of workers who had tested positive for drug use, or workers that refused to comply with drug testing.

This can be useful to companies, especially in the hiring stages, since it means that you have better information ahead of time for making decisions, or asking for clarification. Filtering out applicants to narrow down the suitable candidates is always an intensive process, and this can help to speed things up.

It’s important to remember this means you must also provide this data to the FMCSA database when you come across it in your own testing. However, the final date for compliance on this change is January 2020, so there’s still some time left.

Expansion Of Opiate Testing

A final major change is an expansion to the traditional 5-panel drug test. Where each panel in a drug test is for different substances, such as marijuana, or cocaine, the one panel is dedicated to opiates or opioids. More opioids, such as the synthetic oxycontin, have been added to an expanded range, alongside traditional opiates such as heroin.

This was an important addition because the black market for medically issue narcotics has expanded, so testing strictly for traditional opiates can miss some very potent opioids that may be more accessible than some of the traditional alternatives. This gives businesses more tools to get better testing results.