Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Implementing a Drug Free Workplace
I have encountered problems in implementing a drug free workplace at my facility. Are there resources available to provide guidance and assist with information on how to handle collection problems? Find the answers here.
Answer by Sandra Driver, RN, VP of Operations, Lakeside Occupational Medical Centers, Inc.
The US Department of Labor's Drug-Free Workplace Advisor helps employers learn more about creating substance abuse prevention programs. It provides guidance for those businesses wishing to implement a drug-free workplace. The Advisor includes a Program Builder which consists of five components that may be used independently or as a comprehensive resource. Sample documents are also provided in this section.
Use the link below for access to the Drug-Free Workplace Advisor:
Additional resources are available through the DOT Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance at: http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/employee.html
Specific challenges are encountered when the donor (the person providing the specimen) is less than cooperative. Occasionally, donors try to get around employer’s attempts to make their company drug free. There are two very obvious ways that are addressed in the NIDA-Department of Transportation regulations as well as the Statutes that govern the Florida drug free workplace policies. Both specifically give collectors procedures to follow for these two situations.
The first addresses specimens that are diluted. A diluted specimen is one with too much water. The donor drinking a large volume of water prior to the test could cause this. Or the other scenario is the deliberate addition of water to the specimen to try and disguise the results. The DOT regulations state that a diluted specimen may cause the collector “reason to believe that a particular individual has altered or substituted a urine specimen”. According to the rules of both governing bodies, if a collector receives a specimen that is diluted the procedure is very specific. The collector is to note that the specimen is diluted on the chain of custody form. The collector then will advise the donor that the specimen is diluted and require the donor to provide another specimen under direct observation. Both specimens are then sent to the lab for analysis.
The other issue is the delivery of a specimen that is outside the normal temperature range. Each specimen is checked for temperature within 4 minutes. If the specimen is either too cold or too hot, the donor will be advised of the situation and another specimen will be collected under direct supervision. Both specimens will be sent to the laboratory for analysis.
It is the responsibility of the Medical Review Office to advise the company of the requirements in these situations and the requirement to send both specimens to the lab for analysis.
Reference information: Title 49:Part 40 of the Transportation
Workplace Drug and Alcohol Training Program.
If you have any questions or wish additional information on drug screening issues, call Lakeside’s Medical Review Office at (727) 585-4833.