Supervisors and managers play a pivotal role in the detection and prevention of substance abuse

Supervisors and managers play a pivotal role in the detection and prevention of substance abuse

Supervisors and managers play a pivotal role in the detection and prevention of substance abuse by commercial motor vehicle drivers. New DOT regulations prohibit supervisor training from focusing solely on identifying employees who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while performing safety-sensitive functions.

Supervisors must now learn how to identify “reasonable suspicion” of drug or alcohol use, defined as specific, articulable facts that would lead a reasonable person to suspect that an employee may be impaired. Supervisors also need the knowledge and skills necessary to assist a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs with entering treatment voluntarily, complying with return-to-duty requirements, making appropriate referrals for evaluation and counseling, and complying with other follow-up after reasonable suspicion is identified.

The Reasonable Suspicion Supervisory Training provides supervisors and managers with the knowledge necessary to fulfill their responsibilities under DOT’s new “reasonable suspicion” testing regulations, 49 CFR Part 40. The course explains how reasonable suspicion is defined; what signs or symptoms can indicate use of alcohol or drugs; what questions are prohibited; handling employee access cards; monitoring employees entering and exiting secure areas; when an employee must be tested after an accident, incident, or near miss; refusal to submit to a drug test by an employee or by truck driver applicants who refuse medical examinations required for commercial operating privileges; testing procedures for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-regulated employers in Puerto Rico and Mexico who also require DOT-mandated testing as part of their drug and alcohol testing programs; and DOT post-accident/post-incident procedures.

The Supervisory Training also provides guidance on what to do when an employee is detected as having used drugs or alcohol following a random test, reasonable suspicion test, return-to-duty test, course of treatment, course of followup tests, or after having been given advance notice that a test will be required at a certain time or place. The training stresses that a motor carrier should always provide the supervisor with educational materials specific to its company’s written substance abuse policy because each company has different requirements for supervisorial responsibilities.

At the conclusion of this training session participants can: Relate definitions and examples of reasonable suspicion; Describe the requirements for post-accident testing; Identify the type of information that must be included in a reasonable suspicion report; Explain when an employee is allowed to return to duty following a positive test result.

This course is designed for managers in small, medium, and large fleets who are responsible for safety-sensitive functions in their companies or organizations with FHWA-regulated operations. Supervisors at all levels, including dispatchers, maintenance supervisors, close supervision drivers (CSOs), terminal managers, safety/loss control specialists, fleet managers, company owners/operators are encouraged to attend. Attendees must have completed NTA’s Supervisor Training prior to taking this course. This one day training is offered as a downloadable self-study version or as an on-site option. Downloadable materials are sent 5 to 7 business days after registration is received and paid for. On-site training is available with a one week advance reservation only.


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