DriverCheck to take part in development of global alcohol and drug testing guidelines

The Drug & Alcohol Testing Industry Association (DATIA) and the oil and gas industry are developing global guidelines for contractor drug and alcohol testing programs and DriverCheck has been asked to participate in the process.

“It will be our role to provide input from a Medical Review Officer perspective,” says Dr. Barry Kurtzer, DriverCheck’s Medical Director and Chief Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Kurtzer is a member of the group’s Medical Review and Medication Disclosure/Fit for Duty Subcommittee, which held its first meeting on Thursday, August 28th. One of the focuses of the discussions among this group will be around disclosure and the use of prescription medication.

The goal of the project, which will involve dozens of stakeholders from oil and gas companies, contractor companies and industry associations, is to standardize alcohol and drug testing requirements for oil and gas contractors around the world to improve compliance and increase workplace safety.

Establishing a single standard would also reduce costs and yield process and administrative efficiencies, including simplifying contractor program administration and streamlining owner/operator monitoring activities.

As it stands, with alcohol and drug testing not regulated in Canada, nearly every owner/operator has different requirements for contractors around substance abuse compliance. This means contractors face extreme complexities in maintaining compliance with different contract requirements. In some cases, contractor employees may be deemed qualified to work on one site, but not qualified to work on another because the requirements for each site are different.

The guidelines are expected to address:

  • Alcohol testing frequency, type, testing matrices, and cutoff levels

  • The definition of safety-sensitive work

  • The definition of employees and locations covered by the standard

  • Required collector credentials and the collection process

  • Medication disclosures

  • Medical review procedures and protocols for test results

  • Laboratory qualifications

  • Reporting, record keeping, and non-compliance requirements

  • Supervisor and employee training requirements

These guidelines, which may be impacted by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s regulations around drug and alcohol testing, could be applicable to other industry groups that employ safety sensitive workers, particularly where contractors are involved.

About DriverCheck Inc.

DriverCheck is a physician-owned and operate national provider of workplace medical testing and assessments, and was one of the first Third Party Administrators in Canada to offer DOT-regulated alcohol and drug testing when the company opened its doors in 1996. DriverCheck’s head office is located in the village of Ayr, the heart of Ontario’s transportation hub.