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TTC to Roll Out Random Drug Testing in 2017

May 8, 2017 [Ayr, ON] – Toronto is one of the busiest cities in the world and it’s not surprising that the city needs an extensive transit system. In recent history, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) ridership has increased year over year and 2015 saw the transportation system provide a record 538 million rides. That’s a lot of people—and a lot of people’s safety to be responsible for.

TTC to Roll Out Random Drug Testing in 2017

The TTC doesn’t shy away from this responsibility, though. Safety is a key component of the way the TTC conducts its operations. Of its seven strategic objectives, safety sits at the top of the list.

“Toronto is one of the busiest cities in the world, and one that relies heavily on the transit system. It is of the utmost importance for the TTC to provide safety not only to the public, but also to all employees,” says Megan MacRae, Director of Employee Relations at TTC.

TTC to Implement Random Drug Testing

Because of a commitment to safety, TTC decided to implement a random alcohol and drug testing as a calculated method to provide safe and reliable transportation to so many millions of people.

While the TTC began its journey in 2011 towards implementing alcohol and drug testing, it has been a long road. Due to a variety of reasons, including ongoing arbitration proceedings, the TTC delayed until it felt it could no longer do so, in the interest of safety.

“It was time to move forward to implement a random alcohol and drug testing program,” says Ms. MacRae.

In 2016, TTC, with the approval of its Board decided to proceed with the initiative and budgeted $1.3 million to put this plan into action. While there is still opposition from the union, the need for oversight and accountability is a key component for maintaining safety on the road and rails.

The Right Choice isn’t Always the Easiest

Despite the pushback, the decision— in the long-term— will undoubtedly be the right one.

In a city like Toronto, there are countless protocols and systems in place that help make the city one of the safest in the world in which to work, live and play. While in an ideal world random alcohol and drug testing would be unnecessary, the real world requires constant vigilance to keep people safe. It’s impossible to reach perfection, but striving for it is the only way to reach excellence.

DriverCheck is proud to be a part of this program and helping TTC achieve their organizational goals of preserving the safety of every rider and worker that step onto each bus, train, or streetcar.

May 8th, 2017 | administrator

National Day of Mourning

April 28, 2017 [AYR, ON] – Today is National Day of Mourning; a day that commemorates workers, who have been killed, injured or suffered illness from workplace accidents, hazards, and incidents on the job.

Let’s take a moment today to think about those who have been injured, lost their lives and their families.

You may know someone who has been injured or lost their life on the job. Workplace tragedies are heartbreaking and have deeply impacted the lives of their family and friends.

Quick Facts (Statistics source: Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC))

Below are a few links to information as well as an impactful video that is worth watching.

www.wsibdayofmourning.ca

www.ccohs.ca/events/mourning 

www.wcb.ab.ca/about-wcb/community-partnerships/day-of-mourning.html 

threadsoflife.ca 

 

April 28th, 2017 | administrator

Legislation to Legalize Cannabis is Announced

April 18, 2017 [AYR, ON] – Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced new legislation to legalize cannabis in Canada, which is expected to formally take place in 2018.

The new law would allow adults 18 and over to possess up to 30 grams of dried cannabis with the ability to purchase cannabis and cannabis oil from retailers. Age limits will be regulated at the provincial level. Additionally, Canadians will be allowed to grow up to 4 plants per residence for personal use.

On the same day, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced major changes to Canada’s impaired driving laws, which will include mandatory roadside alcohol screening and new tougher criminal offences for driving while under the influence of drugs.

The Canadian government formed a special Task Force to review and create Cannabis Legalization and Regulation which was led by Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief. Part of the task force’s duty was to consider drug impairment while driving.

If law enforcement suspect a driver is high, they can demand that the driver provide an ‘oral fluid sample’. A positive test result (or commonly referred to as a ‘non-negative result’) would lead to further testing, including a blood test to determine if a criminal offence has been committed.

Oral fluid testing was deemed the most appropriate form of drug detection, as it has the ability to identify recent use at specific cut-off levels. New drug-related offences will be created for drivers who have consumed drugs within 2 hours of driving. Testing would analyze the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis. Those found to have 2 nanograms, but less than 5 nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood could face a maximum fine of up to $1,000). Drivers who have a blood level of more than 5 nanograms of THC, or is also found to be drinking alcohol in conjunction with marijuana usage could face jail time of up to 10 years.

Crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs is the leading criminal cause of death in Canada.

“It would be fair to assume that crashes involving cannabis will see a sharp increase,” says Dr. Chris Page, founder and owner of DriverCheck Inc. “Simply put, if cannabis is easily accessible and legalized, one would suspect that usage will increase. With this increase in usage, we will see an increase in drug impaired driving, which should be a serious concern for public safety in Canada.”

Although, the government has not specified which drug testing device would be used, it is expected that the DrugWipe point of care device from Securetec will be the instrument of choice, as it was recently used in a pilot program in Canada. The DrugWipe system can detect THC, opiates, cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamines (MDMA, ecstasy), benzodiazepines and ketamine. For companies considering the use of oral fluid point of care devices, please note that DriverCheck has not yet endorsed one of these devices due to the challenge in accurately detecting marijuana at low cut-off levels. For companies wanting to perform oral fluid testing, we recommend the gold standard – lab based oral fluid testing – at this time.

Many people have raised concerns about the impact legalized marijuana will have on the safety of our roads but also in the workplace. The number of medical marijuana authorizations have sky rocketed in the last few years and has been a learning template for organizations who have dealt with this challenge and were forced to review or implement new alcohol and drug testing policies, protocols and procedures.

“Just because something is legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe to use. Look no further than alcohol and prescription medication. They are legal, but not necessarily accepted in the workplace – specifically, in safety sensitive positions,” says Dr. Page.

Dr. Page continues, “Our first recommendation is to review the types of occupations you have in your company. Is this considered a safety sensitive role? Is that individual putting not only themselves, but co-workers and the general public at risk by using cannabis at work? If the answer is yes, you should seriously review your workplace alcohol and drug policy and testing program. Our stance is that public safety should outweigh human rights.”

Although detection of impairment is considered a challenge (when compared to alcohol blood levels), the implementation of oral fluid testing is a start – as it is the best option we have currently to detect recent use, and therefore, likelihood of impairment. It may not be a perfect formula now, but it’s a starting point – and superior to the other option of doing nothing.

Have questions or comments about cannabis in the workplace? Dr. Melissa Snider-Adler, DriverCheck’s Chief Medical Review Officer is presenting ‘Canadian Cannabis Craze’ on May 17 in Calgary at a meeting hosted by the Private Motor Truck Council. Space is limited, so people are encouraged to register early by contacting Vanessa Cox at info@pmtc.ca. You can also register online at www.pmtc.ca.

We will be providing clients with a recording of a recent webinar on this topic presented by Dr. Snider-Adler in the next edition of our newsletter, and we will be hosting further educational events this fall that we will communicate at a later date.

About DriverCheck Inc.:

Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck Inc. (DC) has been the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in Canada. Physician-owned and operated, DC has grown to become the largest national provider of workplace medical testing, and was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. DC’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub. DC currently serves over 6,400 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DC services a wide array of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, forestry and medical.

As Canada’s fitness for duty leader, DC’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace.

To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.

April 18th, 2017 | administrator

Sleep Apnea and Fatigue: The Silent Killers

February 22, 2017 [Ayr, ON] –  We seem to be busier than ever these days, but time does not always allow people to keep their own health demands as important priorities. Many people do not get enough sleep to operate at their best, whether that is at work or in their personal lives. In addition, some workers feel pressured (either directly or inadvertently) to work beyond their normal limits in order to get things done.

Exhausted construction worker

However, employee fatigue on the job is not always due to a time crunch. Some workers unknowingly suffer from sleep apnea, a disorder that causes a person to stop breathing for a time while sleeping. This can occur many times during the course of a night, compromising sleep quality, and the reduction in oxygen going to the brain is detrimental to one’s heart and circulation health. Detecting and treating sleep apnea as soon as possible is very important, as many people do not even know they have a problem affecting both their quality of life and performance on the job.

Transportation

Whether you are a pilot, a train conductor, or a truck driver, you are operating a large machine capable of delivering many people or large loads of cargo at once. These vehicles can also be highly dangerous, if the operator is not paying full attention to the instruments, instructions from home base, or to other vehicles operating in the area. Fatigue resulting from sleep apnea compromises the operators’ ability to pay full attention to their responsibilities, with potentially tragic results. Two tragic train accidents in New York State were likely the result of sleep apnea, and local senators called for the enacting of National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations regarding sleep apnea testing and fatigue risk management programs.

Mining

As a profession with considerable risk, mining often requires workers to pull long shifts in the 10 to 12 hour range. Miners who are tired on the job underperform in their duties and run the risk of injuring themselves. Depending on their responsibilities, this lack of attention can cause them to make errors that threaten the safety of others as well.

Construction

Construction workers are in a similar situation. Some work with heavy machinery, such as bulldozers, excavators, and cranes. Not operating this large equipment in the prescribed manner can lead to costly errors, injury, and even fatalities.

Worried that your staff may be too tired to do their work safely and efficiently? DriverCheck offers a fatigue management testing program that will check for sleep apnea and start treatment for those affected within days, allowing them to continue on in their roles. Contact us today to learn more about our diagnosis and testing procedures that can help your business attain its safety and productivity goals.

February 22nd, 2017 | administrator

How Random Alcohol and Drug Testing Programs Reduce Workplace Accidents and Heighten Productivity

December 8, 2016 [AYR, ON] – There has been much controversy over the years stemming from random alcohol and drug testing in the workplace. Workers have questioned whether such tests violate their personal freedom, while businesses expressed concern that impaired employees affected both the company’s efficiency and the safety of their co-workers.

drug testingCreating a balance between these two stances that sits well with everyone is tricky. However, increasing evidence points to the fact that these tests are indeed necessary to ensure that a workplace fulfills both the company’s mandate and protects workers from on-the-job hazards. According to a survey by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, addiction has an extremely detrimental effect on society, with the costs running into billions of dollars.

Persons identified as having a substance abuse issue can feel like they are the victim of a witch hunt. This however, is not the goal of a random program. The goal is to provide assistance to those who need it, while simultaneously improving the safety in the workplace. In fact, implementing a random program often results in those that have substance abuse problems coming forward. This in turn is often the catalyst that convinces the individual to seek out the professional treatment they need.

Here are some of the other benefits that alcohol and drug testing programs offer employers.

Improves Safety

Someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs is more likely to injure themselves because of their impaired perception. This can be through something as simple as tripping and falling, or possibly gravely injuring themselves while using machinery. Such accidents can sometimes even impact employees working in the vicinity.

There is also a possible safety threat to the public. For example, if the person drives a transport truck and often performs this duty under the influence, there is the potential for significant loss of life in the case of an accident.

Improves Productivity

Persons under the influence of alcohol or drugs might feel that the substance enhances their performance (particularly stimulants, like amphetamines), but that is rarely ever the case. Their work is actually more likely to contain errors and overall job performance also tends to suffer. Those with an ongoing substance abuse issue are also more likely to call in sick.

Even those who only indulge in their habits outside the workplace can impact a company. Showing up for work hungover, for example, still means that you are distracted by the physical effects of alcohol or drugs. That person may be able to walk a straight line, but are still mentally cloudy and not at their best.

Improves Employee Relations

An efficient team is one that feels everyone is doing their share. Workers under the influence often fall short of their responsibilities, and that can create tension in the workplace. Certain substances can also cause individuals to engage in inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual harassment, and be less observant of workplace rules regarding procedure and confidentiality. If the addiction is an expensive narcotic, the person may resort to stealing from the company, either through the taking of physical objects or embezzlement.

Thanks to our experienced team of in-house physicians and medical review officers, DriverCheck has earned the trust of many employers. With more than 1,000 locations coast-to-coast, DriverCheck is Canada’s largest testing provider. We pride ourselves on minimizing wait times and a strict adherence to privacy and confidentiality procedures. Contact Driver Check now and learn more about how we can help you protect the health and safety of your company.

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We hope you enjoyed this article. Have comments or questions? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.

December 8th, 2016 | administrator

One on One with Dianne Holmes, Operations Manager at DriverCheck

November 10, 2016 [AYR, ON] – DriverCheck Inc. is proud to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. To commemorate this achievement, we are running a four-part series that features the DriverCheck family as they each reflect on the past twenty years of business. In the third part of this series, we recently sat down with Dianne Holmes, Operations Manager of DriverCheck, and pseudo family member to the Page clan, including Dr. Chris Page and Dr. Mary-Jean Page, the founders and owners of DriverCheck since 1996.
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You were the official first employee of DriverCheck. Tell us how this came about and how you learned about the opportunity?

Dianne Holmes (DH) – In the beginning, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. In 1996, I had just finished University and had moved to the Ayr area from Eastern Ontario looking for full time work. My cousin who was a nurse in Kitchener knew Chris (Dr. Chris Page) was starting a new business and put us in contact with one another.

A day later, I was sitting around the Page family kitchen table having an informal and laidback interview speaking with Chris and Mary-Jean. From that moment, we just clicked. The Pages were warm and inviting people. From the moment I met them, I felt at home and their passion for this new business was infectious.

I guess I was hired on the spot because shortly afterwards I started showing up for work at the barn and I’m still showing up twenty years later. It was a leap of faith taking this opportunity, ultimately with strangers that I just met. But, Chris’s vision and focus got me excited for this opportunity.

dh-blog-snipped-2
(Left to right: Dianne Holmes, Maggie Dunnett, Dr. Mary-Jean Page)

You’ve been with DriverCheck for twenty years. Tell us about the early years.

DH – I worked side by side with Chris and Mary-Jean, not really knowing what the next day would bring. The early days were very busy and there was always something new going on. However, that still hasn’t changed!

When Maggie came on board only a few months after me, we clicked immediately. We worked together very closely and shared many of the early day tasks like processing results and doing collections. We even shared the vacuuming duties on Fridays when we were still in the barn. Those days back in 1996 are fond memories.

Most of our time was focused on marketing and sales, which I had no experience with. But Chris was the face of DC, and I was happy to be back in the office supporting him from behind the scenes.

It was a huge learning curve, but I just dove in and did whatever was necessary to be done. For anyone who has ever started a business from scratch can attest to not much is laid out for you. You have to figure things out as you go, and there was a lot of that.

One specific memory that stands out is when I was a few weeks in to my new job, and travelled with the Pages to the US to tour the testing lab we were going to be using and attend MRO training.

It was my second time flying and as we hit some insane turbulence, I instantly had a white knuckle grip on the back of the seat in front of me. Chris could sense my fear and started trying to calm my nerves by making me laugh and ribbing me about the scary situation.

I remember that flight like it was yesterday, and the support the Page family has provided over the past twenty years was apparent in that instance.

You’re referred to as a member of the family, but there is no actual blood relation. What does this say about DC and its culture?

DH – I’m flattered to be called a ‘family member’. It confirms the incredible trust and confidence that the family places in me, and all of its employees. This has resulted in a work culture that focuses on transparency and treating everyone like they are part of the team, and part of the family.

I value the trust they have granted to me. This propels me to work that much harder, and not let them down. I also want to pay the trust forward. I value the trust the staff put in me to be one of their leaders.

This sort of caring and connection is fostered by the management team. Managers, supervisors and team leads, all care for their team members, striving to keep them connected and again part of the DC family.
The company is unique, and like one big family itself, which was created by the original family roots of the Pages. Chris, Mary-Jean, Maggie and Connor have a genuine appreciation for the work the staff does on a daily basis.

dh-blog-snipped
(Left to right: Maggie Dunnett, Connor Page, Dianne Holmes)

What makes DriverCheck different from its competitors?

DH – Our culture. I firmly believe that our entire staff put their heart and soul into their work. The end result is top notch quality service to all of our clients. Because we are a family based culture, people are motivated to work hard and do their best for the company. This results in exceptional service delivered to our clients.

As industry pioneers, we have a rich and long history. We can say we are among the first companies to provide workplace medical testing and assessments, ensuring fitness for duty of our clients’ employees.

To get to this point, we knew that having credible resources, such as physicians on staff, would help us earn the trust of our clients.
Our physician base is the strongest in the industry, many of whom specialize within specific sectors of our business model.

What is your proudest achievement with DriverCheck?

DH – In the early days I found the most exciting and rewarding part was when we actually started to sign up our first clients. Without clients, there wouldn’t have been a business!
It meant the business was actually coming together like Chris had envisioned. We had companies to serve and they were depending on us to deliver back for them.

I think back on starting with one, then five, then ten clients, and twenty years later, here we are now, with over 5,000 clients that utilize our services across Canada. This makes me extremely proud!

Also, seeing staff being promoted over the years, growing and taking on new challenges makes me proud too. This company was built by hard working, loyal people who have helped the company grow, and they have grown too.

Tell us about the pros and challenges of running a family business?

DH – A family run business allows the freedom to create the business you want, your own culture and values. We have the ability to hand pick the right staff that best fit our culture and ethics.

The biggest challenge at times can be the grueling hours. Long hours and not seeing the fruits of your labour until years later. This takes faith and patience, virtues that I’ve acquired over the years because of my role with DC.
The Page family is able to balance the pros and cons of family business very well. They are humble people, and add a sense of humour to challenging times to reduce the challenges of the daily grind.

What are you most excited about for the future of the company?

DH – The future is very bright for DC, and I get excited watching new service offerings take off and be successful! I look forward to the day when government regulations in Canada make alcohol and drug testing mandatory in workplaces for those in safety sensitive occupations.

Mandatory random testing would dramatically reduce the safety risk in the workplace and for those who share this environment.
After twenty years, there’s still room to grow! We’re adding new services, and as demand grows, we’re constantly in hiring mode. I enjoy adding new staff to the team. These are people who share are similar family values, and want to make DC their home and help us continue to grow the company. That’s what makes me excited every day.

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We hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for being a part of the DriverCheck family over the past twenty years – without you, we couldn’t have done it! Have comments or questions about this article? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.

About DriverCheck Inc.:
Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck Inc. (DC) has been the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in Canada. Physician-owned and operated, DC has grown to become the largest national provider of workplace medical testing, and was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. DC’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub. DC currently serves over 5,000 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DC services a wide array of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, forestry and medical.

As Canada’s fitness for duty leader, DC’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace.

To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.

November 10th, 2016 | administrator

One on One with Maggie Dunnett, General Manager at DriverCheck

October 7, 2016 [AYR, ON] – DriverCheck Inc. is proud to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. To commemorate this achievement, we are running a four-part series that features the DriverCheck family as they each reflect on the past twenty years of business. In the second part of this series, we recently sat down with Maggie Dunnett, General Manager of DriverCheck, and daughter to Dr. Chris Page and Dr. Mary-Jean Page, the founders and owners of DriverCheck since 1996.
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Tell us about 1996 when you decided to join DriverCheck?

Maggie Dunnett (MD) – I had just finished school at McMaster University and initially the plan was to take on a one year internship, then go to medical school and become a doctor. But I fell in love with what we were doing as a new company. There were huge opportunities, and I felt like something could be made of this in what could become a fascinating long term career.

My parents have always been supportive. Consciously I know they were not trying to sway me in any direction. They were happy if I was happy.

Explain the pros and challenges of running a family business?

MD – A family run business is a unique opportunity to spend time together with people with whom you share bonds and whom you trust and respect. When you attach your family name to a business, you feel proud of your accomplishments. We’re proud of what we have created, and continually want to improve.

Our family members all share the same values. We all have a common goal. With us, each person has a different strength, and we complement each other. The different views and perspectives are a definite strength in our family, and subsequently DriverCheck. There’s never been sibling rivalry. There’s never been a need.

Of course with any organization or family, there are always challenges. Because we all share the same values and goals, it’s nothing that we can’t overcome. Some may say family run companies are filled with nepotism, resulting in poorly run operations. That couldn’t be further from the truth for us. We’ve all started at the ground level. When there is that preconceived notion, it makes me want to work harder than everyone else, and ensure that I don’t receive any special treatment.

When we hired my brother, Connor, we really put him through the ringer. Countless job interviews with all the managers in the office. He wasn’t granted any special opportunities. He’s worked for it.

md-blog-snipped-3-kids
(Left to right: Connor Page, Maggie Dunnett, Dianne Holmes)

What is your proudest DriverCheck achievement?

MD – To know you’ve started something from scratch is an amazing feeling. When we started, everything was new, the industry, DOT testing, processes. Change is always constant at DriverCheck. During our twenty years, never once have we become stagnant and happy with the status quo. We’ve always wanted to improve. I’m proud that this company is always striving for improvement whether it be technology, processes or software development.

To have growth, you always need to be adapting, or evolving. Just because something works now, doesn’t mean it will continue to work in the future as your business evolves.
Our headquarters is in Ayr, Ontario, which is a small town. I take great pride in knowing that we create jobs for others including those in our community and being active sponsors for such worthy organizations locally.

Why is fitness for duty testing important?

MD – Safety in the workplace is imperative for a company’s success. That includes the safety of workers, co-workers and everyone around them. It is our duty to ensure that a person is fit for duty in safety sensitive occupations. By doing so, our clients see a decrease in workplace accidents and a decrease in injuries. We provide workplace testing competently, efficiently and cost effectively, ultimately resulting in our clients saving time and money.

Tell us about the early years and fond memories from the past 20 years.

MD – To say a lot has happened over the past twenty years is an understatement. With a tight knit company like ours, when we hire, we are looking for individuals with similar values and ethics. By doing so, I have developed many close relationships with staff. From weddings, babies and group events, there are so many fond memories that I have – inside and outside of the workplace. I can’t help but laugh when I remember the early years in the barn – cramming twenty people in a 1,000 square foot space. It was cozy but we made it work!

In the beginning it was just my parents, Dianne and me. She and I did every task imaginable. We performed collections, booked appointments, ran the random selection program – and it was all brand new at the time, so we had to learn as we went along. And of course, we cleaned the toilets! The ground level exposure we gained was an amazing experience.

Dianne and I have built a very strong working relationship. We’ve worked together so long that we don’t even need complete sentences to communicate – a word, a gesture, or a look suffices. We were fortunate that we got along so well. Again, this goes back to our company ethics and values which have been instilled since day one.

md-blog-snipped-family
(Left to right: Maggie Dunnett, Dr. Chris Page, Dr. Mary-Jean Page, Connor Page, Dianne Holmes)

What makes DriverCheck special?

MD – It’s all about our people and culture. It may sound cliché, but it is the truth. Our staff makes the company tick, ensuring that we provide a high end level of service, providing solutions, improving processes. Many of our employees have held a variety of roles here, and have been in the trenches at some point, which leads to a better understanding of what we offer and this value translates to our clients through workplace medical testing solutions. Our exemplary staff goes the extra mile for our clients. Personally I love seeing the growth of our people and subsequent promotion from within.

What are you most excited about for the future of the company?

MD – One thing that makes DriverCheck unique is that we are never static. We are constantly looking for ways to improve. As we prepare for our next phase of growth, we are focusing on improving our software that will streamline the process for our clients. By improving technology efficiencies, we will make our clients’ lives easier.
Our goal is to be viewed as the industry leader for fitness for duty services in the workplace. We want to be the first people that are contacted when workplace medical testing questions come up.
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We hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for being a part of the DriverCheck family over the past twenty years – without you, we couldn’t have done it! Have comments or questions about this article? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.

About DriverCheck Inc.:

Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck Inc. (DC) has been the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in Canada. Physician-owned and operated, DC has grown to become the largest national provider of workplace medical testing, and was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. DC’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub. DC currently serves over 5,000 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DC services a wide array of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, forestry and medical.
As Canada’s fitness for duty leader, DC’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace.

To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.

October 7th, 2016 | administrator

Celebrating The Stars of Safety – Lisbon Valley Mining Co. – Guest Blog by eCompliance

September 7, 2016 [TORONTO, ON] – On August 19, 2016, the Utah Safety Council awarded the Robert F. Parenti Individual Achievement in Safety Award to Drew Coats, Safety Manager of Lisbon Valley Mining Co. LLC. The award is presented annually by the Utah Safety Council to recognize an individual who has made major contributions in the field of safety that have substantially impacted an organization or community. eCompliance is proud to call Lisbon Valley Mining Co. a customer and was very excited to learn that a true champion of safety leadership, Drew Coats was being recognized for his achievements.

While Lisbon Valley Mining has a history of winning safety awards, this is the first time an individual at the organization has been recognized for successfully improving safety performance.

“I’m honored to be acknowledged by the Utah Safety Council and be the first individual to win the Robert F. Parenti Individual Achievement in Safety Award at Lisbon Valley Mining Co. However, the improvements made to our safety program and most importantly our culture were a result of a team effort here at Lisbon Valley. Everyone from our mine manager, site supervisors, mine employees to our executive team played a crucial role in improving our safety record,” said Drew Coats.

While safety has always been a priority for Lisbon Valley Mines, when Drew joined the company, he noticed that many of their processes were outdated. “When I first started, there was a very clear safety culture at Lisbon Valley. If an incident ever occurred, our Chairman, George Shaw, wanted to know about it and was involved in the corrective action process. You could tell safety was a priority for the company, but we were still using paper processes and as such, struggled with tracking and communicating in real-time compliance information across our organization.”

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The problems caused by paper processes were felt when the copper market took a downturn. “Some of our Equipment Operators, for example, were working part of the month mining and at other times they would be assigned to the process plant or leach operations as manpower dictated. With all of our employees moving around all the time, we needed to know in real-time what our employees have been task trained on, and which hazard training they had received as it was vital to maintaining everyone’s safety. I was tasked with finding a solution that would not only solve these managing issues but also empower our onsite workers to take an active role in the safety program.”

After evaluating several options, Drew decided to partner with eCompliance as he recognized that it wouldn’t just help streamline Lisbon Valley’s processes, but that it would also be very easy for the rest of his team to adopt and use. Drew recognized that the system would encourage his colleagues to actively participate in their safety program. Within four weeks of purchasing, eCompliance was rolled out to the entire team, and it only took two 3 hour sessions to train all the users on the system.

“After we switched to eCompliance, our site supervisors were able to spend much more time in the field, as they no longer had to be in the office to complete their safety compliance items – they could do it on their smartphones or tablets in the field. Now they can spend much more time with their crew bases, focusing on safety in the field opposed to paperwork in the office.”

Since the adoption of eCompliance, Lisbon Valley has reduced reportable incidents by 83.3% and achieved 100% compliance with safety meetings, workplace inspections, and safety checks for all electrical and firefighting equipment. Lisbon Valley Mining Co. has also hit 498 days without a lost time incident. These are incredible results, and while Drew attributes his winning the award in part to the improvements in Lisbon Valley’s safety record, he thinks there’s more to the story.

“A big part of earning this award is making a contribution to the community. In April, I, along with Mike Hamilton from eCompliance, gave a presentation at the Mining and Manufacturing Safety Conference in Salt Lake City. We were able to highlight how ‘abandoning the status quo’ and ‘embracing technology’ allowed us to have real-time visibility into safety performance while establishing a means of 2-way communication across our organization. Every safety department is going to need this sort of technology, and I think showcasing our success and encouraging others to do so was a big part of why I was chosen for the award. We weren’t keeping this to ourselves. We want to help other safety professionals keep all workers across the state safe.”

eCompliance is very proud to be working with such dedicated, forward-thinking safety leaders like Drew and his team at Lisbon Valley Mining Co. Congratulations Drew! Keep up the great work!

Click here to learn more about Lisbon Valley Mining.

What are your thoughts? Share them with us by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca or tweet us @DriverCheckCA.
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About the Author:

Vicki Formosa is the Digital Marketing Specialist and Content Writer at eCompliance. She is an SEM nerd who loves to write and is passionate about workplace health and safety. When she’s not working, she can be found dancing the night away somewhere in Toronto.

About eCompliance:

eCompliance is a health and safety cloud and mobile-based software and is the industry leading solution for increasing worker participation in safety. eCompliance helps at-risk companies engage and empower everyone from the front-line worker to the President and across to clients, suppliers and contractors to safely exceed business goals. For more information, please visit: www.eCompliance.com.

About DriverCheck Inc.:

As Fitness for Duty experts, DriverCheck’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace. Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck has grown to become the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in the country. Physician-owned and operated, DriverCheck strives to provide superior medicine and best practices in all medical testing. DriverCheck was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. Currently, DriverCheck serves over 5,000 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. With a proven track record of sustainability, DriverCheck conducts over 240,000 medical tests annually in a variety of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, government, forestry and medical. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DriverCheck’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub.

To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.

September 8th, 2016 | administrator

Prescription Medication Abuse by Medical Professionals

August 30, 2016 [AYR, ON] – Substance misuse among medical professionals was back in the forefront recently after a Kitchener woman was charged with impaired driving and criminal negligence causing bodily harm for allegedly using drugs she stole from a patient while working as a home care nurse (see article Home-Care Nurse Charged After Allegedly Taking Drugs From Patient). While facing charges, the court ordered her to not act in a care capacity for anyone or for employment purposes.

prescription drugs

When a case like this occurs, it raises questions about the issue of prescription drug use among medical professionals and about prevention. What can be done to avoid patients from being put at risk? Would alcohol and drug testing make a difference?

Some medical ethicists have pushed for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to undergo random testing for substance use, misuse and abuse – saying that this type of testing should be part of the discussion to make medicine safer.

Some proponents of random drug testing for medical professionals argue that because doctors and nurses have lives in their hands, they should be treated the same as others in safety sensitive occupations, such as airplane pilots, train conductors and truck drivers. Random testing for alcohol and drugs has been an effective deterrent in the transportation industry. Between 1996 and 2010, DriverCheck performed 240,000 random drug tests for DOT-regulated employers in Canada and saw positive rates among drivers decrease by more than 80 percent.

Drug use data (cited by USA Today) from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration suggests over 100,000 health care professionals, including nurses and medical technicians are misusing or abusing prescription drugs. Many of these people turn to narcotic pain relievers to cope with stress, and some experts say a significant number of new medical residents are on ADHD medication.

In the U.S., the State of California considered subjecting doctors to routine drug testing but the bill was defeated.

In Canada, the types of drug testing health care workers typically undergo are return to duty, follow-up testing and reasonable cause, for those who have gone through treatment for substance abuse problems or caught for theft of prescription medication. These donors are usually entered into testing programs by health care facilities or through programs offered and/or monitored by licensing bodies. Testing is typically conducted under the facilities or licensing body’s own individual policies.

Aside from these testing scenarios, it appears there are no universal mandatory testing requirements for the health care worker industry and nothing is visible on the horizon.

What are your thoughts? Share them with us by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca or tweet us @DriverCheckCA.

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About DriverCheck Inc.:

As Fitness for Duty experts, DriverCheck’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace. Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck has grown to become the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in the country. Physician-owned and operated, DriverCheck strives to provide superior medicine and best practices in all medical testing. DriverCheck was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. Currently, DriverCheck serves over 5,000 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. With a proven track record of sustainability, DriverCheck conducts over 240,000 medical tests annually in a variety of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, government, forestry and medical. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DriverCheck’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub.

To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.

August 30th, 2016 | administrator

DriverCheck Celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

August 12, 2016 [AYR, ON] – DriverCheck Inc. is proud to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. To commemorate this achievement, we will be running a four-part series that features the DriverCheck family as they each reflect on the past twenty years of business. In the first part of this series, we recently sat down with Dr. Chris Page and his wife, Dr. Mary-Jean Page, the founders and owners of DriverCheck since 1996.
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Why did you start DriverCheck?

Dr. Chris Page (CP) – After practising emergency medicine for over twenty years, I was ready for a new challenge. Emergency medicine is the most exciting form of medical care, and I absolutely loved it. But, I wanted to do something more, and wanted to start a business with my wife Mary-Jean. We became aware that the US DOT was going to legislate alcohol and drug testing, and I immediately knew this was a market to be in.

Dr. Mary-Jean Page (MJP) – In the beginning we were just two people, with what we thought was a really cool idea. We’re proud of what we have accomplished because it was a classic underdog story to start.

CP – We recognized that there was a massive challenge in Canada obtaining quick lab results. So, I became one of the first Canadian Physicians to be a U.S. Certified Medical Review Officer. I immediately sought out to be the Canadian leader for alcohol and drug testing in the DOT transportation industry. From the beginning, DriverCheck was able to offer ‘next day turnaround’ for lab results – something no other company was able to do in Canada.

MJP – Chris and I had big goals from the beginning. He has always been a visionary and saw an opportunity with the new US regulations for testing DOT drivers, which would be independent of OHIP. Chris has grown to become an entrepreneur over the years, but I don’t believe he saw himself that way. He really evolved in to an entrepreneur once he started to successfully develop a number of urgent care clinics in Kitchener.

CP and MJP

Tell us about the pros and challenges of running a family business?

CP – It’s a wonderful feeling to have that bond with your family members. I couldn’t have done this without a very supportive wife – one that tolerated the time investment, especially for the first ten years. I was on call, 365 nights a year for all post-accident calls. It truly takes an accepting person to accommodate that lifestyle. There were nights that Mary-Jean slept on the living room floor because the phone wouldn’t stop ringing. That type of support is not common, and for that I am forever thankful, and blessed to have her.

What’s your stance on medical testing in the fitness for duty sector?

MJP – We have always been passionate about workplace medical testing to determine fitness for duty in work. It’s valuable for all organizations in our field to conduct testing for those in safety sensitive jobs.

CP – It was long overdue. People in safety sensitive positions should be tested, whether it is alcohol and drug, medical exams or hearing surveillance. It’s imperative that one is cleared to be fit for duty for their associated role within an organization. In 1996, when the DOT alcohol and drug legislation was introduced, we recognized there was a hole in the marketplace that we could fill.

From day one and throughout our twenty years, medicine comes first, business second.

Tell us about the early years.

MJP – We have many fond memories from the early years. We were two people with a vision. In 1996, we started the first DriverCheck office on our farm just outside of Ayr. We didn’t need much space, so we just moved the filing cabinets next to the tractor. We made it work.

Dianne Holmes was our first employee who we came to know through mutual friends. She has been a blessing to our team, and that was obvious right from the beginning. She was fresh out of university and up for the challenge.

Shortly thereafter, our daughter, Maggie, joined the company after attending McMaster University. Chris and I were ecstatic that she decided to take an internship with her parents! Brave soul!

After spending five years in the barn, we were getting cramped for space. We wanted to stay local, and decided to buy the old Ayr Farmers Mutual Insurance building, and we’re still there to this day!

DriverCheckHeadOffice

What makes DriverCheck different than competitors?

CP – Top notch medicine and the best customer service that is delivered by premier people. We are blessed to have an outstanding team at DriverCheck. That’s across the board, from our front line support team, to our managers, our medical staff and operations team located across the country. When we hire, we look for people who share similar family values and ethics.

MJP – We are unique because the entire structure of our organization, values, operations and services, are all medically based. We have been able to thrive for twenty years because we have a powerful and loyal medical network behind us, and have supported us all along.

CP – Again, medicine comes first, business second. I think it’s rare for business to have this approach. We are a family run business and abide by a high standard of ethics. We always want to deliver the best medicine. It’s good for the patient, the client, and should be the standard of all organizations.

MJP – One thing that really sets Chris apart from others is that he never gives up. We knew there would be obstacles, but there has never been anything that we knew we couldn’t conquer.

What is your proudest achievement with DriverCheck?

MJP – We’re very proud to have reached this twenty year milestone. From the very beginning, it was sink or swim, we were small and unknown. But, we persevered! We have flourished for twenty years and believe the company is setup to do so for another twenty!

CP – Watching our children grow from a business perspective, the maturity and innovation that they possess is uncanny. They have taken DriverCheck to a level that I never imagined was possible.

MJP – We are very proud of the kids! Watching our children grow up right in front of us! In the early stages, it was obvious that Maggie was amazing at what she did, and it didn’t take her long to surpass not only our expectations but anything that I was capable of doing. And when Connor started with us six years ago, he hit the ground running. He has strong business acumen and in this time has opened doors for new and innovative business opportunities and channel partner relationships.


What are you most excited about for the future of the company?

CP – The company has already grown to a level that I never imagined. That is a huge accomplishment that was led by my children and key staff members, like Dianne, who have been with us from the beginning, while being supported by an extraordinary group of staff.

We have aspirations to take this business global. Today we are Canada’s Fitness for Duty leader – but the next stop is to be the global leader in providing medical testing for all personnel in safety sensitive positions.

Medical developments and technology are developing at a rapid pace. At DriverCheck, we strive to be the educational leader in our space. I’m particularly excited about the new developments that are on the horizon for drug testing and telemedicine applications that we offer from our Injury Management Program.

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We hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for being a part of the DriverCheck family over the past twenty years – without you, we couldn’t have done it! Have comments or questions about this article? Let us know by emailing us at PR@DriverCheck.ca.

About DriverCheck Inc.:

Since its inception in 1996, DriverCheck Inc. (DC) has been the leading provider of medical testing and assessments in Canada. Physician-owned and operated, DC has grown to become the largest national provider of workplace medical testing, and was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing. DC’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub. DC currently serves over 5,000 employers, with access to over 1,000 testing facilities strategically located across the country, providing easy access to all medical services. Our diverse service offerings include alcohol and drug testing, fatigue management, occupational health and injury management programs (including remote medical services). DC services a wide array of industries including transportation, oil & gas, mining, forestry and medical.
As Canada’s ‘Fitness for Duty’ leader, DC’s top priority is the safety of your staff and workplace.
To learn more about DriverCheck, visit www.DriverCheck.ca or call 1 (800) 463-4310.

August 12th, 2016 | administrator