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PHMSA Increases Random Drug Testing Rate from 25 Percent to 50 Percent

Effective January 1, 2018, PHMSA has increased the minimum drug testing rate from 25 percent to 50 percent for all applicable employees.

As detailed in the Code of Federal Regulations (included at the end of this release), 2018's random testing rate increase is a direct result of the 2017 reported positive rate being greater than one percent. The release was issued on Friday, December 8, by the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety, Alan Mayberry.

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

(c) Random testing.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (c)(2) through (4) of this section, the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing shall be 50 percent of covered employees.

(2) The Administrator's decision to increase or decrease the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is based on the reported positive rate for the entire industry. All information used for this determination is drawn from the drug MIS reports required by this subpart. In order to ensure reliability of the data, the Administrator considers the quality and completeness of the reported data, may obtain additional information or reports from operators, and may make appropriate modifications in calculating the industry positive rate. Each year, the Administrator will publish in the Federal Register the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing of covered employees. The new minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing will be applicable starting January 1 of the calendar year following publication.

(3) When the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 50 percent, the Administrator may lower this rate to 25 percent of all covered employees if the Administrator determines that the data received under the reporting requirements of § 199.119 for two consecutive calendar years indicate that the reported positive rate is less than 1.0 percent.

(4) When the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing is 25 percent, and the data received under the reporting requirements of § 199.119 for any calendar year indicate that the reported positive rate is equal to or greater than 1.0 percent, the Administrator will increase the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing to 50 percent of all covered employees.

DISA CUSTOMERS

If you’re a client of DISA Global Solutions, we will automatically update all PHMSA pools to 50 percent before randoms are generated for first quarter. Please update your roster before the end of the year to ensure accuracy of randoms.

If your company has an FMCSA pool with dual covered employees, please notify DISA so your FMCSA pool can also be increased to 50 percent to remain compliant with PHMSA requirements.

If you have questions or concerns about the increased PHMSA testing percentage, please contact DISA at clientupdates@disa.com