Last year, the Department of Transportation issued a final rule that expanded the DOT drug testing panel to include four semi-synthetic opioids. The rule became effective Jan. 1, 2018, and was an effort by the DOT to address the national opioid crisis. Since the final rule was issued, several operators have made changes to their contractor panel requirements in order to stay consistent with DOT regulation.
Although operators may add semi-synthetic opioids to their panel to match the DOT, many of them require more stringent testing. While the DOT required test is a 5-panel, many operators require a 10, 14 or 15-panel drug test for their contractors. Operators may also have different random testing percentages than those required by the DOT.
The PHMSA random testing percentage was increased to 50% for 2018. The FMCSA percentage remains at 25%. Several operators have mimicked the PHMSA update and increased their drug testing percentage rate to 50%.
Operator requirements are constantly changing. It’s important that contractors communicate with operators to ensure they’re in compliance. TEAM partners with many operators, and is often aware of their requirements. If you have questions about a particular operator, please contact TEAM for assistance.