Companies who choose to have a drug-free workplace program help
to promote the health and safety of their employees. Many companies have the
option of choosing to drug test their current or prospective employees, while others
perform regulated drug testing mandated by the Federal government.
What is a regulated
A regulated drug test typically involves a urine or alcohol collection
performed for specific agencies categorized as “safety-sensitive” workplaces
because of the potential influence of their job on public safety.
Safety-sensitive workplaces fall under the Health and Human Services (HHS) or
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) testing authority, or are part of one of
the following agencies under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT):
- Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
- Federal Motor Carrier Service Administration
- Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
- Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
- Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
Which drugs are
tested under a regulated drug screen?
- Phencyclidine (PCC)
The regulated drug test collection process and Federal drug testing program requirements are guided by the DOT’s meticulous set of rules known as 49 CFR Part 40.1
What is 49 CFR Part
49 CFR Part 40 is aU.S.
Department of Transportation rule that details the requirements for employers
to conduct and adhere to workplace drug and alcohol testing programs for those
occupations deemed to be safety-sensitive.1 As drug use in the
workplace continues to be a concern, regulated drug screens help promote testing
rigor for both the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, as well as
non-regulated workplaces through the use of “DOT look-alike” panels that mimic
the specifications of regulated drug tests.
Drug use in safety-sensitive
Data from the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) indicates that in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce, positivity for post-accident urine testing jumped more than 51 percent year-over-year (3.1% in 2017 versus 4.7% in 2018) and increased by nearly 81 percent between 2014 and 2018. The positivity jump in 2018 was largely driven by the addition of prescription opiates to the panel, which helped to drive post-accident positivity for the semi-synthetic opiates (hydrocodone and/or hydromorphone) and for oxycodones (oxycodone and/or oxymorphone) to 1.1 percent and 0.77 percent, respectively.
Post-accident positivity in the general U.S. workforce climbed 9% year-over-year (7.7% in 2017 versus 8.4% in 2018), and 29% over 5 years. The post-accident positivity rate has risen annually since 2011 in the general U.S. workforce and since 2010 in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive workforce.2
Substance abuse in the workplace is not new. However, the latest
DTI data illustrates drug use in the federally mandated, safety-sensitive
workforce continues to increase, making ongoing drug testing even more
To learn more about regulated drug screens, visit our website.
Department of Transportation. Procedures for transportation workplace drug and
alcohol testing programs.
Updated Monday, April 29, 2019. Accessed June 2019.
Drug Testing Positivity Climbs to Highest rate since 2004, according to new
Quest Diagnostics analysis [press release] April 11, 2019