The effective date of the revised guidelines concerning federal workplace drug testing programs has been pushed back from May 1 to Oct. 1, 2010.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) delayed the effective date to coincide with changes to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) procedures for workplace drug and alcohol testing programs, which are planned to be effective Oct. 1.
The DOT uses the HHS laboratory procedures outlined in the federal guidelines. If HHS were to have moved forward with the May 1 compliance date, laboratories would have needed to keep a dual system for testing DOT-regulated workers and non-DOT-regulated workers. In addition, the National Laboratory Certification Program would face a similar problem with using having to use two sets of criteria. A single effective date would eliminate the confusion of dual systems.
In addition, the extra time allows for updated training in Federal and federally-regulated workplace drug testing programs.
The DOT said it could not reasonably move up its effective date to May 1. The department feared that rushing compliance would cause unnecessary spending and create compliance problems. (workersxzcompxzkit)
The Mandatory Guidelines in the Federal Register (73 FR 71858) sets scientific and technical standards for Federal workplace drug testing programs and outlines the for laboratory certification. The revisions to the guidelines address:
- How urine samples are collected and tested
- What the standards for certification of Instrumented Initial Test Facilities (IITF) are
- What the role of collectors and Medical Review Officers (MRO) are, as well as the standards MROs should follow.
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers’ Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, manufacturing, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He can be contacted at: Robert_Elliott@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
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