How is the US Department of Transportation (DOT) trying to eliminate addiction at the workplace through testing?

Drug testing has become a quintessential part of the US companies for ensuring safety to job applicants and future employees. The test is beneficial and helps in diagnosing current consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs, and prescription drugs that can negatively impact the performance of employees. DOT drug testing is one of the best methods to ensure a safe and healthy work environment, initiated by the Department of Transportation, US. Therefore it is vital to spot the indicators of alcohol and substance use in the workplace.

Why is drug testing at the workplace necessary?

Alcoholism and substance abuse have grasped nations worldwide. People from various demographics are not spared from this harrowing trend. This alarming trend has been particularly prominent in the US, where it has reached the magnitude of a national crisis.

Along with other central government and public institutions, the US Department of Transportation has also issued drug testing protocols to identify addicted individuals at the workplace and provide them with the care and treatment they deserve.

With multiple reasons lingering around, every employer needs to conduct drug testing at the workplace to eliminate the below-provided possibilities.

  • To avoid an unhealthy and hazardous working environment
  • To prevent accidents while driving heavy vehicles or manually operated machines
  • To ensure the recruitment of employees who are already under drug dependence
  • To avoid existing employees from abusing drug and alcohol
  • To maintain a safe and secure work atmosphere
  • To safeguard clients, the general public, and coworkers from any harm and danger.

Businesses with an increased risk of substance use need to adopt the right policy and protocols for drug testing. Unless Federal regulations for employees govern a company, they can develop their own set of rules and regulations that supports drug testing.

How can testing be initiated at the workplace?

Every federal firm licensed to perform DOT drug testing must follow a homogeneous procedure developed by the US health and human services. Various steps to ensure accuracy and safety for drug testing are mentioned below.

1.          Initial screening:

Initial testing is the first test done on the employees of companies. In many cases, the result can be negative, but if the test appears positive, a second test can be done to get a confirmation.

2.          Chain of custody:

It is a documentation process that maintains a record of the type of sample collected for testing (blood or urine). The chain of custody records every step from sample collection to its depository.

3.          Confirmation test:

Once an employee is tested positive for drug use, a secondary confirmation test is required to correlate with the initial screening result.

4.          Split sampling:

The split sample is the process where a sample is divided into two parts for the DOT drug test. If the first sample is detected positive, the second split sample can be used for secondary confirmation.

Different methods of drug testing:

Drug testing rules are different from company to company. Depending on the laws, there are two main methods of performing a drug test on employees

  • Breath-alcohol test to estimate the alcohol levels in the blood.
  • Urine, blood, saliva, hair, and sweat samples to determine the type of blood inside an individual’s body


Every US employer belonging to the Department of Transportation and other important bodies should ensure that they have verified drug testing procedures at their workplace. It will help raise the alarm when in doubt; moreover, it will also provide safety and security to its employees.


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