One of the most important considerations for the Department of Transportation is to ensure that every single employer and employee should maintain a safe working place.
If you own a business that complies with the DOT, you will have specific regulations and guidelines that you have to follow, which could be challenging to understand due to weed legalization laws that affected numerous states across the US.
You should click here to visit DOT’s official website.
Similarly, as any other regulation and law, the ideas are constantly changing, which is why employers have to stay-up-to-date.
Even though weed became legal for both recreational and medicinal uses in some states, employers still have to push the policies to the maximum with an idea to meet safety standards, among other things.
Latest DOT Regulatory Changes
Things have changed, especially for opioid testing, including hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and oxymorphone. Remember that these regulations are implementing the safety concerns for people that are consuming prescription medications.
At the same time, some prescription meds have entered the Schedule I drugs, which means that their consumption became problematic for employees that operate within safety-sensitive workplaces.
DOT and Prescription Drugs
Numerous national organizations and agencies indicated that the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs and controlled substance meds are more significant and problematic than the consumption of illegal drugs.
Generally, misuse or abuse starts at moments when you are consuming prescriptions while performing safety-sensitive tasks. For instance, if you consume it while driving a truck or operating heavy machinery.
The National Safety Council created a survey and reached the results that more than 71% of employees are consuming some prescription meds. At the same time, 47% of them experienced impaired worker performance and absenteeism.
Finally, 25% of them experienced arrest, overdose, or accidents related to the misuse of prescription drugs. Have in mind that DOT drug testing will check out for the presence of prescription meds and act accordingly.
Recreational and Medicinal Marijuana
It does not matter if the state allowed the consumption of weed; DOT regulations state that no employee should have marijuana metabolites within the system.
Therefore, everyone that undergoes screenings and has THC inside the body will have to go to the disciplinary committee that will determine the course of action.
Besides, CBD oil is also problematic because its consumption could affect the number of cannabinoids in your body, which may lead to failed screening.
Since the federal regulations stated that all marijuana derivatives are also forbidden, the consumption of CBD is strictly forbidden.
Medication Safety Concerns
Based on the latest regulations, the MRO can readily disclose testing results as well as other medical info to third parties without anyone’s consent, but only in particular situations, including:
- If the information will result in the employee being unqualified to work within the Department of Transportation
- If the information states that the performance of employee poses a severe safety risk for other employees.
Another important consideration is that you should understand everything about the 5-day pause requirement. Generally, the MRO must state to the employee, in case the test has shown the prescription medications so that that employee could get the proper prescriptions.
Therefore, they can determine the current health situation and whether an employee poses a threat to others or not. You should enter this site: https://www.mrocc.org/ to understand everything about MRO or medical review officers.
Medication Use Policies
Please have in mind that when it comes to controlled substances, they can affect your productivity, concentration and increase chances for making mistakes, especially in a safety-sensitive workplace.
That is why each employer should create a valid policy that limits the scope of medication abuse, and that states who is allowed to consume and under what regulations.
You have to form a concise and transparent policy, especially if you wish to comply with DOT regulations that are in some states opposite from state laws.
Each employer should create a specific policy regarding the particular situation because you need to evaluate and assess the potential risks while maintaining the sincerity about medical information from your employees.
Since the opioid epidemic is increasing while the weed regulations are changing and loosing, it is important to be as transparent and precise as possible while creating a medical disclosure policy for workplace protection.