PHMSA doubles random drug testing rate for 2018

Number of positive random drug tests triggers increase

Posted December 11, 2017

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is increasing its minimum random drug testing rate to 50 percent during calendar year 2018. The drug testing rate for 2017 was 25 percent.

Operators of gas, hazardous liquid, and carbon dioxide pipelines and operators of liquefied natural gas facilities must randomly select and test a percentage of all covered employees for prohibited drug use in accordance with 49 CFR 199.105(c)(1).

Why the increase?

Section 199.105(c)(4) requires the PHMSA Administrator to raise the minimum annual random drug testing rate from 25 percent to 50 percent of all covered employees when the data obtained from the Management Information System (MIS) reports — required by Section 199.119(a) — indicate the positive test rate is equal to or greater than 1 percent. In calendar year 2016, the random drug test positive rate was greater than 1 percent. Therefore, the PHMSA minimum annual random drug testing rate shall be 50 percent of all covered employees for calendar year 2018.

MIS data and contractors

The Federal Register notice announcing the PHMSA testing rate also contained a reminder for operators to report contractor MIS Data.

On January 19, 2010, PHMSA published an Advisory Bulletin implementing the annual collection of contractor MIS drug and alcohol testing data. An operator’s report to PHMSA is not considered complete until an MIS report is submitted for each contractor that performed covered functions as defined in Section 199.3.

Submitting 2017 MIS data through the PHMSA portal

For calendar year 2017 reporting, PHMSA announced it will not mail the user name and password for the Drug and Alcohol Management Information System (DAMIS) to operators, but will make the user name and password available in the PHMSA Portal.

In previous years, PHMSA attempted to mail the DAMIS user name and password to operator staff with responsibility for submitting DAMIS reports. Based on the number of phone calls to PHMSA each year requesting this information, the mailing process has not been effective. Pipeline operators have been submitting reports required by Parts 191 and 195 through the PHMSA Portal since 2011. Each company with an Office of Pipeline Safety issued Operator Identification Number should employ staff with access to the PHMSA Portal.

The user name and password required for an operator to access DAMIS and enter calendar year 2017 data will be available to all staff with access to the PHMSA Portal in late December 2017. When the DAMIS user names and passwords are available in the PHMSA Portal, all registered users will receive an email to that effect.

Pursuant to Sec. Sec. 199.119(a) and 199.229(a), operators with 50 or more covered employees, including both operator and contractor staff, are required to submit DAMIS reports annually. Operators with less than 50 total covered employees are required to report only upon written request from PHMSA. If an operator has submitted a calendar year 2015 or later DAMIS report with less than 50 total covered employees, the PHMSA Portal message may state that no calendar year 2017 DAMIS report is required. Some of these operators may have grown to more than 50 covered employees during calendar year 2017. The PHMSA Portal message will include instructions for how these operators can obtain a calendar year 2017 DAMIS user name and password.

Alcohol & Drugs DOT Compliance ManualJ. J. Keller's Alcohol & Drugs DOT Compliance Manual can help you understand and comply with DOT's Alcohol & Drug Testing requirements, including 49 CFR Parts 382 and 40.


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