In recent years, drug testing in the workplace has become increasingly important, especially in the transportation industry. Due to the nature of the job, safety is of utmost importance, and ensuring all drivers are sober and alert while on the job is critical. Non DOT employers who wish to have a safe and drug free workplace utilize drug testing as a deterrent. As a result, various types of drug screening tests have been developed, including the 5 panel drug screen, the 10 panel drug screen, and the DOT drug screen. In this blog post, we will be exploring the differences between these tests, what drugs they detect, and which tests are required for reporting to the FMCSA Clearinghouse.
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What is a 5 Panel Drug Screen?
A 5 panel drug screen is a urine-based test that can detect five of the most commonly abused drugs among employees: Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, Amphetamines, and Phencyclidine (PCP). The reason for testing for these specific substances is because they are commonly found to be some of the most commonly abused drugs and employees can easily have access to them. However, this test will not detect other drugs that may cause impairment, and thus the reason a 10 Panel Drug Screen is offered
What is a 10 Panel Drug Screen?
A 10 panel drug screen is a urine-based test that can detect ten different drugs in an employee’s system. In addition to the five drugs detected by the 5 panel drug screen, the 10 panel drug screen can also detect Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, Methadone, Methaqualone and Propoxyphene. While this test is more comprehensive than the 5 panel drug screen, it still may not be sufficient for those with other drugs of abuse problems, as it does not test for synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl, Meperidine or Fentanyl.
What is a DOT Drug Screen?
A DOT drug screen is a urine-based test that is mandated by the Department of Transportation for all employees who operate commercial vehicles. This test is the most comprehensive and can detect a wide variety of drugs, including Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana, Methamphetamines, Opiates, Phencyclidine (PCP), This test is more in-depth than both the 5 panel and 10 panel drug screens and is required by law for all DOT-regulated companies and will include synthetic opiates and ecstasy. If a NON DOT Employer wishes to have a drug screen as complex as the DOT Drug 5 Panel, request a DOT Like Drug Screen and it will mimic the DOT Screen without facing fines for unauthorized use of a DOT Drug Screens which can lead to fines from the Department of Transportation.
What Drug Screens Get Reported to the FMCSA Clearinghouse?
As of January 2020, the DOT requires all employers to conduct drug and alcohol testing for their employees and report some of the results to the FMCSA Clearinghouse. The following tests must be reported to the clearinghouse:
1. Pre-employment drug tests that are positive or a refusal
2. Random drug tests that are positive or a refusal
3. Post-accident drug tests that are positive or a refusal
4. Reasonable suspicion drug tests that are positive or a refusal
5. Return-to-duty drug tests that are positive or a refusal
6. Follow-up drug tests that are positive or a refusal
7. All Positive Alcohols or a refusal
All of the above tests involve the use of a DOT drug screen. It is important to note that the FMCSA Clearinghouse only reports failed tests and refusals to test. Employer is also responsible to report Known Drug or Alcohol use before or during a shift. Please note the employer is responsible for reporting Positive Alcohols and collection site refusals. Medical Review Officer (MRO) reports positive drugs and Medical Refusals (refuses to comply with MRO medical request for follow-up determination).
Drug testing is an important part of maintaining a safe workplace, especially in the transportation industry and other sectors. While there are many different types of drug screening tests, including the 5 panel and 10 panel drug screens, the most comprehensive test is the DOT drug screen, which is required by law for all DOT-regulated companies. Additionally, all drug tests conducted by employers must be reported to the FMCSA Clearinghouse, but only failed tests and refusals to test are reported. By understanding the different types of drug tests available, companies can ensure their employees are safe and sober while on the job. If you need assistance with your drug screening program or the FMCSA Clearinghouse, contact our Support Team at 844-573-8378 or [email protected] to find a collection site near your workplace or home. You may also press on the link below to order now: https://workplacescreening.com/order-here/