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FMSCA FAQs—National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse

On Dec. 5, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule that aims to improve roadway safety by establishing a National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse.

Under the final rule, motor carriers and other employers of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers must use the Clearinghouse to ensure that current and prospective employees do not have any unresolved drug and alcohol violations that render them ineligible to operate a CMV. Employers will also be required to report information about positive drug test results, alcohol test results greater than 0.04 blood alcohol content, refusals to test and other non-test violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol regulations.

These requirements take effect on Jan. 6, 2020, the date that the Clearinghouse is scheduled to become operational. Employers, CMV drivers and other parties will need to register to use the system and may sign up to receive an email notification that registration is open.

FMCSA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Will allow motor carriers and other employers to identify drivers who are ineligible to operate a CMV.
  • Will contain information about violations by employees who are subject to drug and alcohol testing under FMCSA regulations.
  • Employers must use the database to ensure current and prospective employees do not have unresolved violations.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Jan. 6, 2020—Employers must begin using the Clearinghouse and must also make manual inquiries with former employers.
  • Jan. 6, 2023—Employers will no longer be required to request data from a driver’s previous FMCSA-regulated employers.

Clearinghouse FAQs

What information will the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse contain?

The Clearinghouse will contain records of violations of drug and alcohol prohibitions in 49 CFR part 382, subpart B, including positive drug or alcohol test results and test refusals. When a driver with a drug and alcohol program violation completes the required Return-to-Duty (RTD) process, this information will also be recorded in the Clearinghouse.

Who is authorized to use the Clearinghouse?

To access the Clearinghouse (once it is operational), a user must request access from the FMCSA by registering. Authorized users will include:

  • Motor carriers and other employers with drivers operating CMVs that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP);
  • CDL/CLP drivers;
  • Consortium/third-party administrators;
  • Medical review officers;
  • Substance abuse professionals;
  • State driver licensing agencies; and
  • Federal and state enforcement personnel

Will a prospective employee’s drug and alcohol violation history with Department of Transportation (DOT) modes other than the FMCSA be available in the Clearinghouse?

No. The Clearinghouse will contain only drug and alcohol program violation information for employees subject to the testing requirements under the FMCSA regulations in 49 CFR part 382. Employers must continue to request information from previous employers if an employee was subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing required by a DOT modal administration other than FMCSA (as required by §391.23(e)(4)(B)).

May employers report the results of non-DOT drug or alcohol tests to the Clearinghouse?

No. Only results of DOT drug tests, alcohol tests or test refusals may be reported to the Clearinghouse. While employers may conduct drug and alcohol testing that is outside the scope of the DOT testing requirements, positive test results or refusals for such non-DOT testing may not be reported to the Clearinghouse.

What actions will drivers be able to take in the Clearinghouse?

Drivers will need to log into the Clearinghouse in order to electronically consent to requests from prospective and current employers that need to access full details about any drug and alcohol program violations as part of an employment-related background check. This is the only valid method for an employee to respond to this type of employer consent request, and failure to provide timely consent may result in a driver being prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions for that employer.

Drivers may log in to the Clearinghouse to view their individual driver record at any time. Also, if a driver chooses to engage a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), he or she must select the SAP through the Clearinghouse to initiate the RTD process.

How are employers and Consortium/Third-Party Administrators required to use the Clearinghouse?

The Clearinghouse offers employers a centralized location to report drug and alcohol program violations and to check whether a current or prospective employee is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, such as operating a CMV, due to an unresolved drug and alcohol program violation—that is, a violation for which the employee has not completed the RTD process. Employers must conduct this test, or query, as part of any pre-employment screening and at least annually after an employee is hired.

Employers may also use the Clearinghouse to designate a consortium/third-party administrator, which is a required step for any employer that employs him- or herself as a driver.

How are Medical Review Officers (MROs) and Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) required to use the Clearinghouse?

MROs must use the Clearinghouse to report verified positive drug test results and any driver refusals to take a drug test.

SAPs must use the Clearinghouse to report on the RTD status of drivers who are working to resolve any open drug and alcohol program violations. These reports include the date of completion of the initial assessment and the date the driver becomes eligible for RTD testing.

How will State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) use the Clearinghouse?

As of Jan. 6, 2020, SDLAs will be able to query the Clearinghouse prior to completing licensing transactions.

How will driver data be protected in the Clearinghouse?

The Clearinghouse will meet all relevant federal security standards, and the FMCSA will verify the effectiveness of the security protections on a regular basis.

Driver information will not be available to the public. Only authorized users will be able to register and access the Clearinghouse for designated purposes. The Clearinghouse will require authentication (username/password) to access records.

Drivers registered in the Clearinghouse will be able to access their Clearinghouse records at any time, and at no cost to them. Drivers will only be able to access their own information, not information about other drivers.

The FMCSA will only share detailed drug and alcohol violation information with prospective or current employers when an employer has requested and received specific consent from the driver. Drivers will be able to see the information that would be released to an employer before consenting to the release.

Driver information will be shared only with the FMCSA and other enforcement agencies as required to enforce drug and alcohol use testing regulations.

Does the final rule change any of the existing drug and alcohol program requirements in part 40?

No, the final rule does not change any existing requirements in the US DOT-wide procedures for transportation workplace drug and alcohol testing.

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

password security

Commercial Risk Advisor: Top Cyber Threats in 2019

Predicting the Top 5 Cyber Threats in 2019

Hackers will keep exploiting cyber defense trends and new
technology to steal valuable information and cause chaos.
   

As large-scale cyber attacks continue to make headlines on a regular basis, many businesses have started to realize the importance of safeguarding their systems and data. However, hackers will keep exploiting cyber defense trends and new technology to steal valuable information and cause chaos.

Staying aware of developments in cyber security can help your business prepare an effective response plan. Credit reporting agency Experian recently released its 2019 data breach industry forecast, which predicts the five biggest cyber threats for the year:

  1. Biometrics—Device manufacturers like Apple, Google and Samsung have started to use biometric scanners as a more secure form of authentication. But as fingerprint and facial recognition systems become more popular, hackers will start to target servers that store biometric data.
  2. Digital skimming—Criminals have used skimmers to steal credit card information for decades, but hackers are looking at a digital version of this crime that can target e-commerce websites.
  3. Wireless carriersRecent security tests have found that hackers can infiltrate the signaling platform that allows wireless carriers to connect to each other. As a result, hackers may be able to start a large-scale attack on a motor carrier and remotely access data on smartphones.
  4. Cloud vendors—Hackers have targeted cloud computing systems before, but mostly focus on individual businesses instead of the service providers. If a large cloud vendor is attacked, it could expose data from thousands of businesses that assumed their data was safe.
  5. Gaming—Nearly a quarter of the world’s population play games, according to Experian. And since games require downloading third-party software and setting up anonymous accounts, hackers can easily infiltrate systems to install malware or steal financial information.
winter

Personal Lines: Life, Auto, & Home Insights

LIFE – Home Care for Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season is upon us, and many people will begin experiencing symptoms like sore throats, runny noses, coughs, fevers or muscle aches. While a trip to the doctor is important and can help you recover quickly, there are a number of supplemental home care strategies that can help you further recuperate.

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cyber-monday-shopping

Happy Shopping – Cyber Monday Safety Tips

How to avoid scams, viruses and other internet threats.

The Monday after Thanksgiving has become known as the biggest online shopping day of the year, with companies offering discounts galore to entice customers. But it’s also a day that scammers hope to use to their benefit by trying to lure in victims with offers that sound too good to be true. From fraudulent auction sales to gift card, phishing and social networking scams and more, cyber schemes are ever-evolving and, unfortunately, still successful.

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OSHA Standards

2018 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards

OSHA recently unveiled its top 10 most frequently cited standards. The agency reports the leading causes of workplace injuries during its fiscal year (October through the following September) to help businesses identify common safety pain points.

The 2018 top 10 list of most frequently cited standards didn’t change significantly from 2017, with fall protection violations staying on top of the list. In fact, the top seven standards remained the same. Read below to learn more details on the top 10 most cited OSHA standards.

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