What do collection site operators have to do under DOT drug testing rules to maintain the security and integrity of urine testing?

Q:

What do collection site operators have to do under DOT drug testing rules to maintain the security and integrity of urine testing?

A:

The Department of Transportation (DOT) holds its own policies and procedures for workplace drug and alcohol testing. These policies and procedures are known as 49 CFR part 40.

49 CFR part 40 contains various subparts including administrative procedures, responsibilities of the various personnel involved in the process, how to tackle problems that arise in the process, the return to duty process and more.

Subpart D covers the collection sites, forms, equipment and supplies used in DOT urine collections. Under this subpart, DOT highlights the steps that collection site operators must take in order to maintain security and integrity during the urine testing process. The action steps are crucial to ensure validity and reliability of testing results.

These steps are summarized below:

Urine specimen collectors must take the necessary steps to minimize the chance of specimen tampering. These include:

  • Securing water sources so that specimens are unable to be diluted
  • Ensuring the water in the toilet is blue or any moveable toilet tanks are made secure
  • Checking that adulterants and other unauthorized substances are not present
  • Ensuring the area is secure and that undetected access is not possible

If the urine collection site uses a facility that is normally used for other purposes, additional measures must be taken. It is necessary that access to collection materials and specimens is restricted. Privacy for the specimen donor must be ensured, and there must be minimal distractions for the collector.

Collectors are required to uphold additional security measures. These include:

  • Carrying out collection procedures for only one employee at a time
  • Keeping the specimen container on site in between the steps of urination and sealing the container

Site operators must take steps to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering parts of the site where urine specimens are collected or stored. If required, they have the authority to remove any person who interferes with the collection process.


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John Hawes is the CCO and co-founder at SureHire Occupational Health Testing. John graduated in 2001 from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy. As a former physical therapist, John uses his knowledge of physical therapy and interest in ergonomics and biomechanics to devise fit for work testing.

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