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Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol Program

Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol, ISNetworld, JJ Safety

Drug and alcohol use in the workplace can cause injury, death, lost time, decreased productivity, and  lower employee morale. A single drug or alcohol related incident can cost an employer a great deal, and a solid drug testing program is one way to prevent drug or alcohol related workplace incidents.

Drug testing in the workplace falls into two categories: DOT (regulated) and Non-DOT (unregulated). The Department of Transportation , an agency of the federal government, requires certain safety-sensitive transportation industries to implement a DOT drug and alcohol testing program. Aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, pipelines and other transportation industries are required to have a DOT program.

If you are a contractor or supplier company who has an ISNetworld account, and are not in one of the aforementioned industries, there is a good chance you have seen the Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol requirement in ISN® RAVS®. 

The Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol safety program RAVS® requirement is simply a written safety program that must include certain language to pass the ISN® RAVS® compliance and certification process.

There are so many benefits to implementing a quality Non-DOT drug and alcohol program, because drug testing is a great way to mitigate hazards and reduce costs. According to numerous sources, 70% of Americans who abuse drugs are employed. Implementing drug testing programs can be beneficial due to reduced healthcare costs for employees, improvements in employee morale, less absenteeism,  accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft.  

Some other good reasons to implement a Non-DOT drug and alcohol testing program include: 

  • Protects workers, consumers, and the public
  • Provides a safe work environment for workers
  • Lower healthcare cost and workers comp claims
  • Improves morale for the business
  • Increased worker production 
  • Discourages drug use and rehabilitate employees
  • Better public image
  • Decreases the number of applicants who use drugs

Drug & Alcohol Written Policy

It is important for businesses to have a written drug & alcohol policy that will outline the random program and inform employees what to expect. It is also a good deterrent for applicants who use drugs. Companies can advertise their written drug and alcohol policy on the career page, to deter drug users from applying in the first place, saving the company from future troubles. Some things to consider when creating a detailed written Non-DOT drug & alcohol program are:

What kind and type of testing to conduct. Most collection sites will be able to perform the following types of testing: 

  • Pre-Employment
  • Random
  • Reasonable Cause/Suspicion
  • Post-Accident
  • Return to Duty
  • Follow up
  • Periodic 
  • Wall to Wall 

Most companies opt for a random program where employees are placed in a pool and a random selection of employees is made usually monthly or quarterly. However, companies can choose to do periodic, or wall to wall testing as well. Some companies choose only to do pre-employment testing with no random program in place. Other companies implement random programs and pre-employment. Most companies will perform post-accident testing.  

Another type of testing to consider is whether to do urine testing, hair follicle sample, saliva, and of course breath analysis for alcohol. There are pros and cons for each of these sample types. For example, hair follicle sampling is more accurate and goes back farther than any other type, but it is also more expensive.  

For companies who are implementing a drug and alcohol program for the first time ever, outsourcing might be something to consider. Many companies called TPA’s or Third-Party Administrators help businesses implement a successful random drug & alcohol testing program. Some TPA’s will provide everything, from the collection facility to the lab and MRO and will even be responsible for enforcing the random selection process.  

Companies that do not outsource are responsible for finding their own collection sites and labs and creating their own process for randomly selecting employees. Because of this, a lot of businesses choose to outsource. Whatever you choose, JJ Safety can help. We can help write a DOT or Non-DOT Drug and Alcohol policy for your company. We can also help you implement a random drug and alcohol testing program. Contact us to find out how.

Call 866-627-3850 or email us at to learn more.

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