Guest Blog Series: Is Your Company Compliant?
The Department of Transportation, also known as DOT, is a federal agency that regulates the transportation administrations to meet and follow certain regulations to stay in compliance. From the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) all the way to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), all administrations under the Department of Transportation umbrella must meet compliance. At Tomo, we focus on the drug-and-alcohol-testing side of our clients’ compliance. It is our niche and what we do best!
What does compliance mean for my company?
Compliance means that you are fulfilling requirements imposed by a governing agency – in this case, the Department of Transportation. Routine audits occur to ensure a company is maintaining compliance, and these shouldn’t be stressful if you’re doing things correctly. This means having all your paperwork and files in order and knowing you are fulfilling the regulations. If you are not found to be compliant at the time of a DOT audit, your company could be subject to fines and other consequences.
Is compliance only in regard to random testing?
No, compliance is more than just randoms. It’s making sure pre-employment testing is done before starting the employee in their DOT position, ensuring post-accident testing is completed after a work accident occurs, and conducting reasonable suspicion testing when necessary. There is so much more to compliance; that is why it is great to have Tomo in your corner.
When I set up my contract for random testing, what are the next steps?
After your contract is signed, it will be set up on the Administration side of Tomo. When it is time to schedule your first testing, our Lists Coordinator will request a current employee list. The employee list will then be updated and randoms will be pulled. Finally, the Scheduling Department will reach out to schedule testing and make sure the date and time is agreeable to you.
How do I know when it is time to test again?
Tomo tracks testing schedules to ensure you don’t miss your time for testing. This allows you to just sit back and have peace of mind, knowing that everything is taken care of. When testing is due, our Scheduling Department will reach out to you. There is no need to call us!
How does Tomo ensure I am compliant?
At Tomo, we take our clients’ compliance very seriously. After all, it’s what you pay us to do! We make sure everything is done correctly from steps A to Z. Tomo works hard to make sure you are DOT compliant. Your list is pulled at the correct time and at the correct DOT-regulated levels. If you are a non-DOT client, we will ensure that you are being tested at the levels and frequency established at the time of your contract. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
What do I do in the event of an audit?
Upon notification of an upcoming audit, contact our Administration Specialist, Erica Bussard. Generally, the Department of Transportation gives the company at least a month’s notice. The quicker we know, the sooner we can get you the materials you need for your audit. Also, a copy of the audit letter is always helpful. This ensures all bases are covered when the audit comes.
I have a compliance question. Where is the best source to get answers?
There is a helpful Department of Transportation website with regulations and FAQs. It is a great tool for anyone that is wanting to brush up on the regulations, get an answer to a question, or flat out learn something new. The DOT keeps the website up to date with all of the new regulatory changes as they happen.
So how do I know when a regulation has changed?
Great question! If there is a change made that affects you and your business, Tomo will alert you of the change. For example in 2016, when the minimum DOT requirement for drug testing percentage changed, our clients were personally called and made aware.
How does non-DOT compliance differ from DOT compliance?
Non-DOT compliance isn’t driven by any federal regulations or agencies. It is simply based upon the company or sometimes even by the policies a company’s board has put in place. The policies are generally written in a Drug-Free Workplace policy so that both the employees and employers understand the rules.
The author of this blog post is Erica Bussard, and she is the Administration Specialist in the Program Administration Department. Her primary responsibility at Tomo is to handle clients’ compliance, both with Department of Transportation companies and Drug-Free Workplaces. She has been with Tomo almost 11 years and has held numerous positions in the company, including Drug and Alcohol Collector, Scheduler, Manager, and Compliance.