10 Important DER Tips of FMCSA Regulated Employees
A company’s Designated Employer Representative (DER) has the important job to oversee the entire testing program and is the primary stakeholder with regards to workplace safety.
Specifically, a DER is an employee authorized by the employer to take immediate action(s) to remove employees from safety-sensitive duties, or cause employees to be removed from these covered duties, and to make required decisions in the testing and evaluation processes.
The DER also receives test results and other communications for the employer, consistent with the requirements of this part. The DER role may be held by a safety supervisor, terminal manager, or owner. Service agents cannot function in this role.
When it comes to complying with federal Department of Transportation’s FMCSA testing regulations, it’s important for a DER to avoid the mistakes that are commonly made. Below we provide important tips for these DERs to consider.
10 tips for DERs that manage FMCSA regulated employees and their testing requirements:
- When notifying employees of drug or alcohol test, ensure they proceed immediately to test (not on vacation, etc.)
- Once driver reports to test, driver is considered “on duty” and counts towards Hours of Service
- Random alcohol tests must be performed immediately before/after or while performing safety-sensitive functions
- Ensure that all supervisors have had Reasonable Suspicion training
- Consider when ordering tests, reporting of results usually takes 72 hours
- Know when an FMCSA post-accident test is warranted
- Understand the differences between Random and Reasonable Suspicion Tests
- DER should be available 24/7 for drivers and/or vendors
- Clear communication with your C/TPA and/or MRO
- Understand what counts as a refusal and who has responsibility to confirm a test refusal
As a bonus tip, remember to stay up-to-date on the latest local, State, and Federal laws and regulations that affects your drug testing program. DERs must ensure that all provisions of their company’s drug and alcohol testing policies comply with these laws. Failure to do so may lead to monetary damages and statutory penalties.
Many companies use a C/TPA to manage many of the tasks of the DER
While the DER should have the knowledge and authority to make decisions about their employer’s drug and alcohol testing program, they can utilize expert Consortiums or Third-party administrators (TPAs), like CleanFleet, to assist with many of their functions.
Be aware, however, that C/TPAs cannot make decisions on behalf of the employer. The DER can work hand in hand with its TPA in order to implement a successful testing program while managing the many other tasks the DER may be required to do.
C/TPAs like CleanFleet can help with:
- Managing multiple vendor relationship (such as collection sites, labs, and Medical Review Officers)
- Vetting new vendors and collection sites across the United States
- Chasing paperwork and chain-of-custody forms
- Data entry and complying with storing documents requirements
- Managing the random selection testing employee pool
- Staying up-to-date on new state or federal guidelines (like how legal recreation or medical marijuana may affect you company’s testing policy)
Interested in learning more about how CleanFleet can help manage your FMCSA testing, fill out the form below.