Answer

What constitutes an individual’s need for DOT testing? Does any employee that walks on a pipeline site require a DOT test?

According to the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) 49 CFR Part 199 defines a covered employee as the following:   “Covered employee: A person who performs work on a pipeline or liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility an operation, maintenance, or emergency-response function.”   The official DOT document has been attached below for further review. Anything specific or additional requirements beyond this would need to be confirmed by the company operating the pipeline you’re performing work on.

According to the FMCSA, “Drivers who perform only FTA-regulated safety-sensitive functions are exempt from Part 382, including the Clearinghouse requirements, as are their employers. These drivers and employers are subject only to the alcohol and/or controlled substances testing requirements of Part 655. On the other hand, FTA-regulated entities that employ drivers who also perform FMCSA-regulated safety-sensitive functions must comply with the relevant alcohol and/or controlled substances testing requirements of Part 382.”

Employers and Medical Review Officers (MROs) are both required to report drug and alcohol program violations in the Clearinghouse per § 382.705. Employers can hire a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA) in the Clearinghouse, such as DISA, to assist with meeting these reporting requirements; however, the employer retains ultimate responsibility for compliance. According to the Clearinghouse, employers are responsible for reporting the following:

•    An alcohol confirmation test with a concentration of 0.04 or higher

•    Refusal to test (alcohol) as specified in 49 CFR § 40.261

•    Refusal to test (drug) not requiring a determination by the MRO as specified in 49 CFR § 40.191

•    Actual knowledge of a drug or alcohol violation, as defined in 49 CFR § 382.107

MROs are responsible for reporting the following:

•    Verified positive, adulterated, or substituted drug test result

•    Refusal to test (drug) requiring a determination by the MRO as specified in 49 CFR § 40.191

Employers who have actual knowledge that a driver has used alcohol or controlled substances in violation of Subpart B of Part 382 must report such violations to the Clearinghouse, in accordance with § 382.705(b)(4). Service agents, such as a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), acting on the employer’s behalf may also report actual knowledge violations, as long as they comply with the reporting requirements in § 382.705(b)(4). Actual knowledge, as defined in § 382.107, is based on the employer’s direct observation of the employee, information provided by the driver’s previous employer(s), a traffic citation for driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, or an employee’s admission of alcohol or controlled substances use, except as provided in § 382.121.