I attended a webinar and it pretty much confirmed our previous guidance around this new rule.

NOTE:  This is also good for non-federally regulated employees in safety sensitive positions

Step #1 – Create good job descriptions around

  • Safety sensitive positions. Include what “safety sensitive” is:
    • Defined as the ability to work in a constant state of alertness and safe manner where the lack thereof could cause harm to oneself or others, damage to property, materials, or equipment. (Get with your legal counsel for the exact wording)
    • Any applicable state or federal regulations.

Step #2 – Update drug free workplace policy to bring it into compliance with state laws.  This is especially important in California with the new recreational Marijuana laws.

  • Include a pre-duty impairing effects safety policy for safety sensitive employees. In other words, an employee must make HR aware of any prescriptions that could impair his or her performance in that safety sensitive position.
  • Part of that process is to employ the MD or DO (outlined in the next step).

Step #3 – Engage a Consulting MRO/Certified Medical Examiner/Occupational Physician

  • Get your own Physician (ideally someone focused on Occupational Health).
  • If an employee discloses a prescription; or an MRO reports a safety concern, provide the doctor with a job description, the donor contact information and if applicable, the MRO report. Let that doctor make the call as to a safety concern.

Step #4 – Take appropriate action based on the report.

  • If a safety concern, did employee report it prior to their work shift?  If not, then it could fall into disciplinary action.
  • Medically unqualified employees should be referred to HR to begin the ADA interactive dance steps process to determine if employee can be reasonably accommodated by moving to non-safety sensitive position, extended leave, job restructuring, etc.