49 CFR Part 40 Revisions: What Collectors Need to Know
On November 13, 2017 the U.S. Dept. of Transportation published revisions to the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs. The final rule is very similar to the proposed revisions published earlier in 2017. Most of the revisions are intended to align the DOT regulations with the recent changes to the HHS regulations for Federal workplace testing. The most significant changes affect laboratories and employers. We’ll highlight the changes that are pertinent to collectors. This final rule is effective January 1, 2018.
Changes of Note to Collectors
Requires Collectors, Breath Alcohol Technicians, Screening Test Technicians, as well as MROs and SAPs to subscribe to the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy Compliance (ODAPC) list-serve. Subscribing to the list-serve enables ODAPC to send email notifications to subscribers of rule changes and other important program-related information. An individual may show a recent list-serve email notice from ODAPC to demonstrate compliance with this rule.
If you are not already subscribed to the list-serve, click here to do so.
Adds three fatal flaws
The revision adds three fatal flaws that will always cause a drug test to be cancelled:
• There is no CCF included with the specimen when received at the laboratory.
• Two separate collections were performed using one CCF.
• The laboratory receives only CCF without a specimen, and a specimen was collected. (Note that if no specimen was collected, as in the case of a shy bladder collection, and the collector mistakenly sends the CCF to the lab, the laboratory will not report this is as a fatal flaw that cancelled the test.)
Instructs the collector to discard a first “questionable” specimen
A rule clarification instructs the collector to discard a first questionable specimen that is temp out of range or suspected of being adulterated when the second collection is not successful because of insufficient specimen (shy bladder). Although the previous version of the regulations were silent about sending a first questionable specimen to the laboratory in this situation it was common practice to do so. This revision changes that practice. It instructs the collector to write a remark on the first CCF that the first specimen was discarded because the second specimen was insufficient, and to send the CCF to the DER and the MRO.
New CCF required after June 30, 2018
Because DOT is adding four drugs to the drug test panel there will be a new CCF that will list those four drugs in Step 5a. The new form also eliminates the letters “DOT” before the words “Specify DOT Agency” in Step 1. The new form may be used starting January 1, 2018. The current CCF may be used until June 30, 2018, after which time the new form must be used.
Changes of Note to Employers, C/TPAs, and Laboratories
Adds four drugs to the DOT panel
The new final rule expands the drug test panel to include the following semi-synthetic opioids: hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone. Under the new rule every DOT test will now be a nine-panel test. It will include the original five drugs plus these four synthetic drugs.
Eliminates Blind Quality Control tests
Employers and C/TPAs are no longer required to send Blind Quality Control Specimens to the laboratory. DOT is satisfied, based on 25 years of Blind Quality Control testing with no false positives, that laboratories have adequate internal quality control measures in place.