• Drug Testing for U S Coast Guards

    Members of the US Coast Guard must also submit to drug testing in order to do their jobs. Below are the regulations each marine employer must follow to maintain a unfailing drug testing process. You will find that many of these regulations are consistent with the Department of Transportation regulations.

    US Coast Guard Drug Testing Regulations

    • All crew members whether full-time, part time, seasonal, year round, or contracted must submit to the drug testing process.

    • Any crew member who has a positive result or is found to have violated that test must be removed from any job that is considered safety sensitive by the DOT.

    • There are no regulations requiring a marine employer to fire anyone who has a positive result on a drug screen. This is up to the employer but must be specifically stated in the employee handbook if they choose to take on this regulation and shouldn’t be worded in such a way that could be considered subjective or easily misinterpreted.

    • All marine employers are required to have the service of a SAP (Substance Abuse Professional) available to their employees and should have proper contact information for that person.

    • All personal policies relating to drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs nad illegal drugs on board the ship should be made clear in the employee handbook of the employer.

    • A signed sheet verifying that each employee has read and understands the information on drug policy must be kept on file until that person is no longer employed there.

    • The employer must determine a set location for testing to occur, the method of collection, the DHHS lab they will use for testing, times at which testing will occur (pre-employment, random, post-accident, etc.) and lsit the 5 drugs that will be tested for(Marijuana, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, and phencyclidine).

    Regulations of the Testing Process

    • All US Coast Guard employees must submit to a pre-employment drug test and pass it before they can do any jobs that are considered safety sensitive.

    • Random drug screens are conducted on employees based on computer table based selections which are randomly done throughout the year without notice or a specific pattern.

    • 50% of the crew should be tested every year.

    • After all accidents that are fatal, cause extensive property damage or cause serious harm to others the crew members involved must undergo a drug test within at most 24 hours of the incident.

    • Periodic drug testing must also be done for Regional Examination Centers that regulate licenses and the documents of merchant mariners.

    • All drug testing results and records must be kept(including the failed pre-employment tests of any potential employee for 1 year) so that they can be reviewed by the Coast Guard as they wish. All records must be kept for a minimum of five years.

    • All employers must have and display information about substance abuse and methods of treatment on board. Their personal policy and any hotlines that could be of assistance need to be included as well.


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