30 MAY 2017 • FOGHORN SAFETYMATTERS By Eric Christensen, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Risk Management M aintaining compliance with U.S. Coast Guard drug and alcohol program requirements can be a challenge. One issue that has come up at a number of Coast Guard and industry forums this year is the ability of the prospective employer to get alcohol and drug testing information on an applicant in the age of HIPA and other privacy concerns. Fortunately, the regulations are very clear on the responsibilities of prospective employers, employees, and previous employers in getting the information needed to put an employee to work on an inspected vessel in a safety sensitive position. Recordkeeping Marine employers are required to keep certain records in order to verify their compliance with the alcohol and Drug and Alcohol Pre-Employment Background Checks Fast Page Loads Streamlined Checkout Multiple Account Sign-Ons Improved Search Quick Order Easy Invoice Look-up Requisition Lists • Over 135,000 products for your business • 28 regional distribution centers • Same-day van delivery • 250+ stores • The most-knowledgeable and seasoned sales representatives in the industry Your 24/7 destination that’s packed with the features you need to get the most out of your time and money. westmarinepro.com All backed by the power of West Marine Pro. 1-800-621-6885 or visit westmarinepro.com. Increased Inventory Availability chemical testing requirements in 46 CFR Part 16. For pre- employment, a negative drug test result (crewmember passed the test) needs to be kept on file and readily available for at least the first year of employment. After one year of employment, the employer will need to document that the crewmember has been subject to random drug testing at a rate of 25 percent to remain eligible for placement in a safety- sensitive position. Any documentation supporting an exemption to pre- employment drug testing must be retained for as long as the marine employer employs the crewmember. Positive or non-negative test results need to be kept on file for five (5) years even the individual was not hired. If the individual is a credentialed mariner, the positive or non-neg- ative test result must be reported to the local Coast Guard, Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI). Requests for previous employer’s drug and alcohol testing results of a prospective crewmember should be docu- mented and kept on record for three years. Pre-employment Background Checks Marine employers are required to obtain drug and alcohol testing information on new crewmembers that will be working in a safety sensitive position. After obtaining an individual’s written consent, the marine employer must request specific drug and alcohol information from all the individual’s previous DOT employers in the last two years. Each request should have the employee’s original signature. Ideally the requested information is received by the potential employer before the individual starts performing safety sensitive duties; however, a marine employer can employ the individual for up to 30 days while the request is pending at previous employers. The following information must be requested from DOT regulated employers who have employed the individual during any period during the previous two years: • DOT Alcohol tests with a result of 0.04 or higher (not available from marine employers). • Verified positive drug tests. • Refusals (including adulterated or substituted samples). • Other violations of DOT drug and alcohol testing regula- tions. • If an individual has violated a DOT drug and alcohol