Getting High On The Job

Posted on March 23rd, 2012

WebMD Health recently reported on the newly released survey of federally mandated "safety-sensitive workers" who must receive pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing. 

The survey was compiled by Quest Diagnostics, showed some pilots, truck drivers, rail operators, and bus drivers are flunking their drug tests.  The data, collected from 1.6 million drug tests done during 2011 showed a nearly 26% spike in testing positive for amphetamines and a 33% jump in testing positive for cocaine.

These "safety-sensitive workers," who are subject to random drug testing via urine sample, include flight crews, air traffic controllers, ship captains and crew members, subway operators, and locomotive engineers, to name a few.  Whether on the road, rails, water, air, or underground, these workers are put into a distinct category because people count on them to be as clear-headed and alert as possible during their shifts to ensure safety.

These upward trends of substance abuse come on the heels of stricter government drug testing rules, which took effect in October 2010, along with new lower drug testing cutoff levels for substances, such as cocaine and amphetamines.  At the same time, the U.S. Department of Transportation also added a few other substances, including heroin and ecstasy, to its required drug testing list for private and public sector workers in the transportation industry.

Perhaps one encouraging finding from last year's data is that the number of positive drug tests among safety-sensitive workers is lower at 1.7% compared to 4.1% in the general workforce.

To read the full article: Drug Use Amongst Safety-Sensitive Wokers

Posted in Drug Abuse, Drug Use in the Transportation Industry, Substance Abuse in the Workplace, Workplace Drug & Alcohol Testing    Tagged with DOT drug testing, on the job drug testing, random drug testing, oral fluid drug testing, reasonable suspicion drug testing, return to work drug testing, follow up drug testing, urine drug testing, hair follicle drug test, pre-employment drug and alcohol screening, workplace drug testing, Narcotics, New Jersey Drug Abuse, Mobile Drug and Alcohol Testing


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