When you open your own business, it will be up to you to hire a responsible team of staff. To facilitate this, state and federal law both provide employers with the legal right to perform drug screenings to any of their workers. With a routine drug testing program, you can make sure that your workers … Continue reading “How Employee Drug Testing Can Benefit Your Business”

When you open your own business, it will be up to you to hire a responsible team of staff. To facilitate this, state and federal law both provide employers with the legal right to perform drug screenings to any of their workers. With a routine drug testing program, you can make sure that your workers are not using illegal substances on or off the job. To highlight the benefits of drug screening in Tucson, here is a look at how employee drug testing can benefit your business.

Enhanced Safety

Safety is a top concern for any business owner. In order to make sure that your employees are able to safely perform the functions that their positions require, you may want to consider implementing drug testing. Drug testing is a particularly important safety measure for any business that uses heavy equipment, such as road construction, trucking, or mining.

Improved Productivity

Along with enhancing the safety of your workplace, employee drug screening will also improve the productivity of your workers. Illegal substances have been shown to slow reaction times and reduce the overall performance of workers on the job. By setting up drug screening, you can rest assured that all of your workers are performing to their highest potential.

Boosted Reputation

Employee drug testing can also provide your company with a public relations boost. By advertising that you administer drug tests to your workers, you can help to inspire confidence in your customers and clients that they are in good hands.

At HDS Safety, we are thrilled to offer employers in Tucson with a full range of drug screening services. From DOT compliance screening to drug and alcohol tests, we will be there to assist you. For more information about the great compliance solutions that we can provide for your company, call us at 1-800-800-7801.

As the owner of a trucking company, it is your job to make sure that your truck drivers are meeting all safety requirements that are mandated by state and federal authorities. One of the most important aspects of trucking safety is going through a DOT compliance checklist. A company offering drug testing near Tucson can provide you with important assistance during your DOT compliance checkup. Read on for essential information about the DOT compliance checklist for truck driving companies.

CDL Compliance

One of the most important parts of the DOT compliance checklist is the CDL compliance portion. All truck drivers must have valid CDLs in order to legally operate commercial vehicles. As the owner of a truck driving company, you will need to keep records of all of the CDL qualifications of your drivers. In addition, you will also need to make sure that your driver’s service hours are documented.

Drug and Alcohol Compliance

Along with CDL compliance, the DOT compliance checklist also contains a drug and alcohol compliance portion. Drug and alcohol compliance is important for making sure that your truck drivers are not using illegal substances when they are behind the wheel. A drug testing company can provide you with pre-employment drug testing, as well as random screenings for your drivers. In addition, you will also need to ask any potential employees about whether they have had any prior issues with drug or alcohol use each year. The DOT will also require that you test at least 10 percent of your workforce for alcohol issues on an annual basis.

When you are working on a DOT compliance checklist for your trucking company, be sure to get in touch with HDS Safety and Compliance. Our highly-rated drug screening company can help you streamline the drug testing process for your employees. To set up drug and alcohol testing today, give us a call at (800) 800-7801.

Use of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse is mandatory beginning January 6, 2020. This means that commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers, medical review officers, consortiums/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), and employers will be required to register with the Clearinghouse. Registration is currently open and it is important to start to familiarize yourself with the system. 

If you run a trucking company, here is some information you should know about the new FMCSA Clearinghouse:

The Purpose of the FMCSA Clearinghouse

The FMCSA and Department of Transportation (DOT) established the new Clearinghouse system to make it easier for motor carriers to get real-time information about CDL holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. This makes it harder for drivers with violations to conceal these issues from a prospective employer. It also makes it easier for motor carriers to complete proper pre-employment screening. The system includes positive test results, refusal to test, and information on whether a driver has completed a return-to-duty process after any violations

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Registration

In order to conduct queries and stay compliant once the Clearinghouse takes effect, you must be registered. You can complete registration on the Clearinghouse site. You will need a login.gov account and if you do not have one you will be prompted to register. Then, you can continue Clearinghouse registration by selecting the role “employer.” 

If you have an existing FMCSA Portal account, you can sign into it to link your company information to the new Clearinghouse login. Otherwise, you will need to enter this data manually.  

You will need to designate your C/TPA if you have one, in order to give them access to your Clearinghouse information. This is required for all owner-operators. If your C/TPA does not appear in the search results, they may not have registered for the Clearinghouse yet. 

HDS Safety Services has shared a guide to registering for the FMCSA Clearinghouse on our LinkedIn page. This gives more detailed information about the process. 

Compliance in 2020: Queries and Violations

Once the Clearinghouse mandate takes full effect in 2020, you will need to use the database during the pre-employment process for all new CDL drivers. You will also need to properly report any violations.

Limited and Full Queries

Before hiring a safety-sensitive employee, your company will need to run a search through the Clearinghouse to determine if they have had any violations. A limited query allows you to determine if a driver has any information in the Clearinghouse system. A full query will give you access to the complete records of that driver and will require their consent. Until 2023, you will need to complete a manual query as well to determine if a potential driver has any violations on record with their previous employers. 

In addition to querying the system for new drivers, you will need to search the Clearinghouse database once a year for your current safety-sensitive employees. 

Reporting Violations

Employers will be required to report any adverse drug and alcohol testing information to the FMCSA Clearinghouse. This includes positive test results, refusal to test, or other non-test violations of FMCSA regulations. You will need to report these violations within three business days of their occurrence. 

You must report “actual knowledge” violations along with complete documentation and information of any witnesses to the event. An “actual knowledge” violation is a situation where an employer is aware that a safety-sensitive employee has used alcohol or a controlled substance based on direct observation, information from a previous employer, or a traffic citation for driving under the influence. 

We Can Help with FMCSA Clearinghouse Compliance

The FMCSA Clearinghouse database will make it easier for trucking companies to ensure they are compliant with drug and alcohol testing regulations. However, it may be difficult to get familiar with this new system. At HDS Safety Services, we are here to help you stay compliant. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for the implementation of the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

People tend to tune out when they hear the word “compliance”, but understanding DOT compliance demands the attention of people looking to have their freight shipped by truck, as well as the owners of the trucking companies doing the shipping. DOT compliance isn’t just another government hoop to jump through: it is an important preventative measure to ensure safety on our nation’s highways. If your company isn’t compliant, it could mean serious fines and serious safety hazards!

What Is DOT Compliance, Anyway?

DOT regulations are the guidelines that ensure truckers (and other related professions) aren’t using drugs or alcohol on the job. This is the clear reason why they’re so important: can you imagine a 40-ton semi being driven down a busy highway by a drunk person? It’s not a pleasant thought. To ensure that stuff like that doesn’t happen, DOT regulations were created.

What does DOT compliance involve? Although different types of carriers have to abide by different types of regulations, they share some common guidelines like:

  • Maintaining current drug and alcohol testing programs
  • Keeping track of how long drivers are on the road
  • Driver physicals
  • Following HAZMAT regulations, if applicable
  • Proper vehicle maintenance and inspection
  • And of course, making sure your trucks are properly insured

That’s a lot of stuff to keep track of, and not having one of those things taken care of can result in pretty hefty fines. Over $33 million in penalties have been collected in 2015, and the year’s not even over yet. Individual penalties can range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands.

Find Out Where You Stand
If you’re not sure where you stand when it comes to your company’s DOT compliance, HDS Safety and Compliance is the company to call. We do DOT compliance for a living, so we know what to focus on so your company can stay compliant and focus on what you do best: running your business. Our auditing and complete DOT compliance consulting services can help turn you into a safer and more efficient company in no time. Don’t wait for a disaster to happen: call us at 1-800-800-7801 or contact us on the web today.

Workplace drug and alcohol testing play an important part in employee and client safety. Solid drug policy and support program is a valuable resource for your business, reducing the incidence of drug- and alcohol-related injuries or accidents while increasing the overall integrity of your company.

Improved Safety

Drug- and alcohol-related accidents can pose a serious hazard to employees, clients, and even innocent bystanders. Even if accidents are not responsible for injuries, they can cause serious product delivery delays or property damage. Regular drug and alcohol testing is an excellent way to improve the safety of your workplace for all employees, as well as driver safety records while out on the road.

Increased Productivity

Drugs and alcohol have been associated with poor employee performance and frequently skipped or missed workdays. Thus, a drug or alcohol problem can have serious consequences for your business’ productivity, hindering or even halting important daily operations. Drug and alcohol testing will reduce or address drug and alcohol abuse to keep employees on task and at work.

Positive Reputation

Regular drug and alcohol testing are important for more than simple compliance reasons. By maintaining a strict drug and alcohol program through professional testing, your company will also enjoy a more positive reputation. Addressing drug and alcohol concerns in the workplace shows your commitment to your employees and your community at large, which can play a vital role in your company’s image and encourage brand loyalty for a higher percentage of return customers.

Are you wondering how to implement a successful drug and alcohol testing program in your Tucson workplace? HDS Safety and Compliance can help you uphold your company policy and all state and federal regulations with pre-employment, post-accident, random, and follow-up drug and alcohol testing services. You can find more information about our programs and services on our website, or reach us by calling (520) 622-0419 for assistance.

Motor carriers and organizations that employ safety-sensitive workers subject to Department of Transportation rules and regulations are required to administer a variety of drug and alcohol tests, including pre-employment screenings, random testing, and post-accident/reasonable suspicious testing. HDS Safety & Compliance offers drug and alcohol testing services that are compliant with DOT rules and regulations. If you’re looking for a drug and alcohol testing service to maintain a compliant workforce, consider these reasons to partner with a DOT-compliant test provider like HDS Safety & Compliance.

Multi-Agency Compliance Requirements

There are six separate agencies that fall under the umbrella of the Department of Transportation, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), United States Coast Guard (USCG), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing services stay up-to-date with current regulations as they pertain to each agency, ensuring that your organization meets all drug and alcohol testing requirements set forth by the particular agency or agencies to which you directly report.

Numerous Testing Programs

DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements include a number of different tests that must be administered at various points. In addition to pre-employment drug and alcohol screening, DOT testing is required following an accident, before a driver can return to duty, and at random intervals to ensure a clean and sober workforce. Partnering with a DOT-compliant drug and alcohol testing service allows you to quickly order the specific type of test you need when you need it, without having to search for different testing services that may or may not offer the testing program you need for any particular driver at any particular time.

HDS Safety & Compliance is one of the largest drug and alcohol testing consortiums in Arizona. We are current on all DOT rules and regulations and can provide expert guidance to help you implement a drug-free and DOT-compliant workplace. Call us at 1-800-800-7801 to learn more about our drug and alcohol testing services.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require DOT physicals for safety-sensitive transportation employees. These medical exams ensure truck drivers are in good health and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Motor carriers must keep up-to-date records of their drivers’ DOT physical exams and test results. 

It is important to understand what DOT physicals are, why they are necessary, and how trucking companies can maintain proper records. 

What Are DOT Physicals?

A DOT physical is a medical exam that determines if a commercial driver is healthy enough to perform their job duties safely. Drivers will need to complete an exam before the start of their employment in the trucking industry. Additional exams must be performed every 24 months. When the driver has a health condition that requires regular monitoring, a DOT medical examiner may require more frequent physicals. For example, this may apply to drivers with high blood pressure, insulin-controlled diabetes, or a variety of other conditions.

The physical includes vision and hearing tests, a blood pressure and pulse rate check, a urinalysis to check for underlying conditions, and a full physical examination. The certified medical examiner will consider the driver’s general appearance and overall health. They will also examine the eyes, ears, lungs and chest, heart, spine, extremities, and other areas of the body to ensure that the driver’s health is up to FMCSA standards. 

After the DOT physical examination, the provider will fill out several forms that the driver and their employer will need to keep on record. As an employer, these forms must be stored according to DOT regulations. At HDS, we can streamline your DOT paperwork and securely store your files electronically. 

Why Are DOT Physicals Necessary?

The FMCSA and DOT outline clear regulations for motor carriers to help ensure that those traveling on our nation’s roadways are as safe as possible. DOT physicals are an important aspect of trucking safety. They protect not only the drivers themselves, but also others on the road. 

How Can Trucking Companies Stay Compliant?

Motor carriers are required to keep driver qualification files. This is necessary when you first hire a new driver. You will also need to add updates, including copies of their most recent DOT physical results. If you do not have records for these medical exams, your company may be subject to fines if you are audited by the DOT. 

HDS Safety Services

WE Audit and Manage DOT Physical Records

At HDS Safety Services, we offer driver qualification file management. We organize files and track expiration dates for DOT physicals, driver’s licenses, annual reviews, and more. This makes it easy for you to stay up-to-date with renewing and updating your files. We update you weekly so you know you are compliant and prepared in the case of an audit. In the event that you do get audited, this will streamline the process. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services to manage, organize, and audit your DOT physicals and other driver qualification files.

With so many commercial vehicles on the road, safety is essential in the trucking industry. One of the most important requirements to maintain safe travel is drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), sets the requirements for when trucking companies must drug test their drivers. 49 CFR Part 382 C of the FMCSA regulations outlines when screening is required by law.

You will need to screen your drivers for illegal drug use and alcohol abuse at these times:

Pre-Employment Testing

Motor carriers must screen their CDL (commercial driver’s license) drivers for drug use before they perform any safety-sensitive functions for the company. This means that you must complete the drug test and confirm a negative result before the new employee drives a CMV (commercial motor vehicle). The FMCSA does not require alcohol testing before employment, but it does set regulations if you do choose to screen for alcohol. For example, you must perform the same testing on all safety-sensitive employees, so if you desire to alcohol test, you must do this for every new hire.

Random Drug Screening

Random drug tests help continuously ensure that your employees are not using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol. For random screening, the FMCSA does require both drug and alcohol testing. You must randomly select employees to test from a pool of all safety-sensitive workers. The FMCSA sets a percentage each year of how many employees you must screen during each testing period. This is based on the number of violations in the industry as a whole.

Reasonable Suspicion

When a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that a driver is using controlled substances or alcohol on the job, they are required to perform a drug test or alcohol test for that employee. Once reasonable suspicion is identified, the driver in question must complete screening promptly. Only officials who are trained in reasonable suspicion can request this type of test. HDS Safety Services offers training to help your supervisors understand the reasonable suspicion guidelines set by the FMCSA.

Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing

If a commercial driver is involved in an accident while on the job, it may be necessary to screen for drug or alcohol use. This is based on the type of damage. If there was a human fatality, the FMCSA requires you to test your driver under all circumstances. If there was an injury to another driver that required immediate medical treatment away from the scene, or if another vehicle was damaged and towed away, you only need to screen for drug or alcohol use if there was a citation.

Return-to-Duty After Testing Positive

When a driver refuses a drug or alcohol test, has a positive result, or otherwise violates FMCSA regulations, they will need to cease safety-sensitive duties immediately. A DOT-qualified substance abuse professional will supervise the return-to-duty process for this individual. The driver will need to meet all of FMCSA’s requirements, which includes an observed drug and/or alcohol screening. A negative result is required before they can resume safety-sensitive tasks.

HDS Safety Services

Helping You Meet Drug Test Requirements

If you operate a trucking company, it is essential that you follow all DOT and FMCSA regulations for drug testing. HDS Safety Services can help you stay compliant with drug and alcohol testing. We also offer non-DOT tests for employers who want to take extra steps to keep their employees and others safe on the road.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug testing services.

If you are in the transportation industry, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of ensuring that you have an effective drug and alcohol testing program set up for your employees. You also need to make sure that your company is in compliance with the rules established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). One of the things that is critical to understand is when you have reasonable suspicion to administer a drug or alcohol test to an employee. Here’s what you need to know:

When may a reasonable suspicion test of a driver be ordered?
A reasonable suspicion test of a driver may be ordered by their supervisor in the event that they have reasonable cause to suspect that the driver violated the rules by using drugs or alcohol. In making this judgment call, the supervisor may take factors such as a driver’s appearance, behavior, speech, or body odor into account. These factors cannot be vague: The supervisor must be able to explain the reasons for suspicion clearly and articulately, and they must be based on observations made at the time.

Can a reasonable suspicion test be ordered by someone besides a driver’s supervisor?
Only a driver’s trained supervisor can order a reasonable suspicion test. If a trained individual who is not that driver’s supervisor observes any evidence that the driver may have used drugs or alcohol before driving, they may report that to the supervisor, who can take whatever action is needed.

Are reasonable suspicion rules different for controlled substances than they are for alcohol?
For drivers, any use of a controlled substance is considered unlawful because those substances can remain in the system for a long time. Therefore, if a driver seems to be experiencing withdrawal from a controlled substance, it can be cause for a reasonable suspicion test. Since alcohol is legal and drivers are only prohibited from having a high blood alcohol concentration while driving, they cannot be tested on reasonable suspicion grounds simply for showing signs of withdrawal.

HDS Safety Services specializes in providing companies with dependable drug and alcohol testing services to ensure that they get the best, most responsible team members possible. If you want to ensure that your business is following DOT regulations, you can get in touch with us today at (520) 622-0419.

Current research suggests that nearly 77% of illegal drug users are employed in full or part-time jobs in the United States. This means employers around the country are subject to the hazards and drawbacks of employing illegal drug users, including lower productivity, smaller profits, more accidents, missed days of work, and many other negative effects. Fortunately, you can minimize the job performance issues and extra costs associated with the employment of drug users by instituting a drug-free workplace program. Here’s a look at some of the important elements of a drug-free workplace program and where you can turn for your drug testing needs.

Written Drug Policy

A written drug policy is important for establishing workplace drug and alcohol rules, as well as setting expectations for workers. Having a written policy in place is important if you ever have to take disciplinary action against a worker who is found to be under the substance of drugs or alcohol since it establishes that the worker knew full well in advance what was prohibited under the company’s drug and alcohol policy.

Employee and Supervisor Training

You should also institute a training program as part of a drug and alcohol policy in the workplace. For supervisors, you’ll want to train your staff to recognize the signs of workers under the influence of drugs or alcohol and know the appropriate administrative and disciplinary steps to take in order to deal with the problem.

Drug Testing

One of the most important parts of instituting a drug-free workplace program is having a drug testing policy in place. After all, you can’t hope to enforce a drug-free policy unless you are able to test for workers who are under the influence of illegal drugs and other prohibited substances.

HDS Safety & Compliance can meet all of your workplace drug testing needs. From pre-employment screenings to random drug tests, HDS offers the testing services necessary to have a successful drug-free workplace. We specialize in testing and reporting for the trucking and transportation industry, but our services are available for businesses of all sizes in any industry. Call us toll-free at (800) 800-7801 to learn more about our drug and alcohol testing services.

Motor carriers must follow regulations from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These guidelines ensure that truck drivers as well as others on the road are as safe as possible. Because there are so many different rules to follow, it can be difficult to keep track. HDS Safety Services is here to help motor carriers develop and maintain DOT-compliant safety programs.

Here are some of the basic areas of DOT compliance:

Hiring DOT-Compliant Drivers

When you hire drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), you must ensure that they meet all federal requirements. You will need to keep a file that includes all records pertaining to each driver. This will include commercial driver’s license (CDL) information as well as a list of all driving violations or accidents that the driver was involved in. You will need to verify all incidents within the last three years with previous employers. 

The qualification file must also contain ongoing updates. One of these updates is the motor vehicle record for each driver, which motor carriers must update each year. CMV drivers must also undergo a physical by a licensed medical examiner every 24 months. HDS Safety Services can help you maintain detailed and compliant driver qualification files. 

Drug Testing

One of the most important components of motor carrier safety is drug and alcohol testing. DOT/FMCSA guidelines require you to test at specific times during the course of a driver’s employment. These include: pre-employment as well as randomly, after accidents, before returning to duty, or if there is reasonable suspicion (both drug and alcohol testing). We can help you make sure you know when to drug test your drivers and we operate one of the largest random testing consortiums in Arizona. 

Hours of Service

The DOT and FMCSA have strict rules for hours of service (HOS). These guidelines outline required rest periods and maximum driving time. Some of these regulations for property-carrying drivers include:

11-Hour Driving Limit:

A CMV driver may only drive for 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.

Required Rest Breaks:

A driver may not operate a CMV unless they have had a break of at least 30 minutes within the last eight hours.

Weekly Time On-Duty:

The limit for cumulative time on-duty is 60 hours for seven consecutive days or 70 hours for eight consecutive days. After this time period, a driver must have 34 consecutive hours off-duty before they can begin driving again. 

The easiest way to manage HOS compliance is by using an electronic logging device (ELD). HDS Safety Services offers ELD auditing to ensure that you are adhering to federal regulations. 

We Can Help Ensure DOT Compliance

Driver qualification, drug testing, and hours of services are only a few of the many rules and regulations that the DOT and FMCSA have implemented to ensure motor carrier safety. Managing these requirements is time-consuming and any mistake can lead to serious consequences. When you hire HDS Safety Services, we will do the hard work for you and will make sure you meet and exceed all DOT safety standards. 

Contact us today to learn more about our DOT and FMCSA compliance services.

Under DOT rules, employees are in violation of safety requirements when they have a positive drug or alcohol test or if they refuse to undergo testing. When this occurs, employees must be immediately removed from any safety-sensitive tasks. If employers fail to remove employees from safety-sensitive work after a violation, they may be fined up to $10,000 per day. After a violation, employees can choose to work outside the transportation industry, but before returning to any safety-sensitive functions within the transportation field, they must undergo the official return-to-duty process set by the DOT. Here is an overview of the requirements for returning to duty after a violation.

Clinical Evaluation

After a violation, a substance abuse professional—or SAP—must oversee the return-to-duty process. SAP will first conduct a clinical evaluation of the employee. After the evaluation, the SAP is required by the DOT to recommend a treatment or education plan. An outline of this plan is then provided to the employer by the SAP so that the company understands what the employee must complete before he or she can be cleared to return to work.

Treatment Completion

The employee must complete the program designed by the SAP. During the treatment process, the SAP will monitor the employee’s progress and ensure he or she is complying with all recommendations. Once the employee has made progress through the treatment plan, the SAP will schedule another appointment for a clinical evaluation. During this appointment, the SAP will determine if the employee has complied with the treatment plan and has made sufficient progress. He or she will advise the employer if the employee has complied with treatment or if the employee cannot be considered for return to duty.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

If the SAP has said that the employee has complied with the treatment plan, the employer can arrange a return-to-duty drug or alcohol screening test. If the test is negative, the employer can return the employee to safety-sensitive duties.


The return-to-duty process is complex, but HDS Safety Services can facilitate return-to-duty testing as part of a broader drug and alcohol testing program for your business. Find out more about how we can help you comply with DOT requirements for workers and keep your workplace safe by calling (520) 622-0419.