U.S. proposes changes to drug testing rules

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 13, 1999) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater has proposed changes to the drug and alcohol testing program to prevent transportation workers from cheating.

The agency wants to change how laboratories and medical review officers (MROs) handle what it says is an increasing number of adulterated and substituted specimens. New rules would require laboratories to test all specimens for adulterants and substitution attempts. Those found to be tampered with would be reported to the employer as a refusal to test.

DOT has also proposed that third parties be held accountable for providing appropriate service to employers. A “Public Interest Exclusion” procedure would prohibit employers from using service agents for testing who don’t provide appropriate services and refuse to correct identified problems.

“Relevant” traning would be required for individuals involved throughout the testing process to make sure they understand DOT rules. The agency is also proposing a procedure to permit confirmed positive test results to be reported by the MRO to all DOT-regulated employers for whom the employee currently works, not just to the employer who ordered the test.

Copies of the proposal are available at www.dot.gov/ost/dapc or by calling the fax-on-demand line, (800) 225-3784, and requesting docment 151.

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