Can multiple collectors be used under DOT drug testing rules in a shy bladder situation that extends the time frame involved in collection?

Q:

Can multiple collectors be used under DOT drug testing rules in a shy bladder situation that extends the time frame involved in collection?

A:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has a set of specific policies and procedures for their drug testing program (49 CFR Part 40). These policies and procedures apply to all employees and individuals within DOT regulated industries.

DOT drug testing guidelines cover what to do as part of the "shy bladder protocol." This protocol is followed when the person being drug tested is unable to provide the required 45 ml urine specimen. Commonly, the protocol will need to be followed if the person being tested says they "can't go" (i.e. can't produce any urine, or produces an insufficient amount).

Generally, there is only one collector involved in the shy bladder protocol. The guidelines specify the following:

  • The collector asks the individual being tested to drink up to 40 ounces of fluid, distributed throughout a period of up to three hours
  • At reasonable time intervals during this time period, the collector will ask the employee to attempt to provide a urine specimen
  • When a sufficient specimen is obtained in "one go," the shy bladder protocol is complete and testing procedures continue as normal. This may occur at the three hour mark, or at an earlier time when a sufficient specimen is obtained.

If a sufficient specimen is not obtained within the three hour time frame, the collection procedures must be discontinued. In this situation, another collector would not be used. Instead, the collector must make a record of what has happened (failure to produce an adequate volume of specimen within the required time frame) on the Chain of Custody Form (CCF). The Designated Employer Representative (DER) must also be notified immediately. From there, an appropriate course of action would be decided upon.

The only situation where an additional collector may be used is when it is necessary to have a collector changeover within the three hour shy bladder timeframe. Due to the length of time that is potentially involved in shy bladder testing procedures, a shift change for the collector may occur during this time. If so, more than one collector may be used, with the changeover being documented as follows:

  • The first collector records the start time of the shy bladder procedure
  • The second collector records their name and signature when the second collection is obtained
  • The transition is recorded on the remarks line of the CCF

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Written by Elly McGuinness
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Elly has been inspiring people to make sustainable changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle for the past 15 years. She offers online solutions for people who are looking to get started on, or improve their health and fitness. She blogs regularly, writes for a number of health and well-being publications and is the published author of a holistic weight loss book.

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