Industry Insights

HR 101: Employee Screening Checklist for Safety-Sensitive Industries

When hiring new employees, it’s vital that employers create and follow a standard protocol to protect their company and ensure a safe and smart hire every time. Employment screening doesn’t have to be a burden, with an employee screening checklist you can ensure that you’re following your procedures with every individual who represents your company. This will not only enforce safety standards in your office but will continue to protect it by preventing employees who aren’t fit for the role from slipping through the cracks. The following checklist contains procedures that you should consider when creating your hiring process.

Background Screening Checklist


1. Determine what’s allowed in your state

2. Notify the applicant a background check may be pulled

3. Get written consent from the applicant that a report can be obtained

4. Store the notification and written consent for two years

5. Determine what exactly you’re screening for

6. Determine if you want to re-run them periodically

7. Use the information gathered only as necessary

8. Follow FCRA Adverse Action procedures if applicable


Typically, background screening is conducted as part of the pre-employment process so that employers can verify that they are hiring a safe and reliable applicant who will abide by company policies. For certain safety-sensitive positions, this is a requirement, and the services that must be performed can vary depending on the government agency.

Background screening laws can also vary by state, so it’s vital that the employer knows the rules of their state. For example, the “Ban the Box” law is enforced by just 10 states and requires employers to remove the box that appears on job applications requesting you to check if you’ve ever been convicted of a crime, incarcerated, or sometimes even arrested.

There are a variety of background screening services which you can set up in a new employee package that suits your industry and business needs. Your package may include, Criminal History Checks (Federal, State, and County), Civil Searches (Federal and County), SSN Validity Check, Employment Verification, Education Verification, and more.

For DOT-regulated employers, it may also be important to screen for I-9 & E-Verify checks, State Driving Records, motor vehicle records, DOT Testing History, and more.

Additionally, when making a hiring decision, all businesses (large and small) must abide by the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). You can get all the details about FCRA requirements and Adverse Action here!

Personality Testing Checklist


1. Determine what’s allowed in your state

2. Determine what test you want to run (MTBI, DISC Assessment, The Winslow Personality Profile, etc.)

3. Put together an explanation for the candidate about why you’re performing this

4. Based on your state laws, decide if you want to perform this before or after hiring

5. Communicate the personality test results to the employee and their manager

6. Use the personality test as a tool to manage your team more effectively


A newer trend in the hiring process is personality testing. During the hiring process, some companies like to administer personality testing to see if that employee will make a good fit in their working environment and work well with others within the space. A personality test assesses the individual’s personality, cognitive abilities, skills, work ethic, and other traits. 

One of the more common personality tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI). If choosing to administer one of these tests as part of your pre-employment process, it’s important to understand and address the Americans with Disabilities Act before doing so and to properly accommodate those with disabilities according to the law.

Drug and Alcohol Testing Checklist


1. Determine what’s allowed in your state

2. Determine if you have any positions that require government regulated testing

3. Decide which testing methodologies will be administered

4. Decide if you need different types of testing other than pre-employment (random, reasonable suspicion, Return to Duty (RTD), etc.)

5. Create a policy for all employees and positions

6. Have applicant/employee sign and consent to the company policy and testing requirements

7. Use the policy to enforce safety in the workplace


With the ever-changing legalization of marijuana laws varying by state and the growing opioid epidemic, it’s vital more now, than ever before that employers implement a drug and alcohol testing program. This prevents employers from hiring someone who might be a risk and liability in their workplace, especially those in safety-sensitive positions. 

Most drug and alcohol pre-employment programs require a urinalysis or hair test, but depending on the industry, some companies are required to implement a much more specific and stringent testing program based on government agency requirements. Drug and alcohol testing procedures include the following methodologies:

Drug and alcohol testing isn’t limited to pre-employment, many companies decide to implement a random testing policy as well, to continue to deter employees from using drugs. There are a number of various drug testing methods, which may or may not be required for your company’s industry or positions. The following are the types of drug testing you can implement.

Medical Testing


1. Determine if your company has positions which may require employees to be physically fit to perform job duties

2. Address your state laws

3. Determine if any government agencies have required medical testing procedures, such as the DOT

4. Have applicant/employee sign and consent to the company policy and testing requirements

5. Administer the tests while following guidelines for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)


Depending on the industry, some positions require medical testing to ensure that the employee is physically fit and able to complete the job requirements. Companies that include positions, such as firefighters, pilots, police officers, truck drivers, etc. are examples of those in safety-sensitive positions who have duties that would require you to maintain good health. 

Physical exams could require:

  • A vision test
  • A hearing test
  • Blood pressure/pulse rate
  • Urinalysis
  • Physical exam: heart, vascular, lungs and chest, mouth and throat, ears, neurological, etc.

On-boarding Process


1. Get started before they start! Have their manager send them a welcome email, company information, a first-week itinerary, and more. Let them feel prepared for day one

2. Administer office supplies

3. Explain company policies/procedures

4. Administer and obtain a signature for the company handbook, employee benefits, and other HR documents

5. Make formal introductions to coworkers


Now that you have hired them, you’ll want to create an on-boarding process to make your employee feel welcomed on their first day at work, as well as prepared. When an employee starts a new position, it’s important to have an on-boarding process to help them be successful and to smoothly integrate them into their new workplace. 

For more than 30 years, DISA has been a provider of workplace safety and compliance services. DISA helps companies make more informed staffing decisions by offering a broad array of industry-leading methodologies to make employee screening faster and more accurate. For more information about DISA call 1-800-752-6432 or email sales@disa.com.