FAA Post-Accident Drug Testing Requirements

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Our FAA Post-Accident Drug Testing Requirements course covers the topic of DOT post-accident drug testing from the designated employer representative perspective.

We also have a course on FAA Post-Accident Drug Testing for supervisors.

It answers the question: “What must the DER do and know in the instance of a pilot accident?”

In the course you will learn:

What Constitutes an “Accident” According to FAA Rules

Part of FAA post-accident drug testing requirements involves whether an accident actually occurred. “Accident” is in quotations because the FAA lays out a technical definition for the term.

While you and I simply know an accident when we see one, the FAA requires much more specific standards.

First, the accident must happen when employees working FAA safety sensitive positions gets in a situation, for lack of a better term. (The better term would probably be accident, but we can’t use that yet…)

Then certain criteria must be observable by either the pilot, supervisor, or DER.

If there is an accident, administering a FAA drug testing panel is required. But you have to make certain that an “accident” occurred first.

We cover the standards in the course so you will know when to initiate DOT post accident drug testing.

How to Identify When and Whom to Test After an Accident

Time is of the essence when you have to do FAA post-accident drug testing.

You want the lab results to indicate the pilot’s drug and alcohol levels at the time of the accident, and the longer you wait, the more skewed the results will become.

You have to get the post-accident drug test completed in a certain time window, and if you wait too long, you will have to document why to the FAA and DOT.

Usually the only real excuse is if the accident leaves the employee injured and simply unable to complete an FAA drug testing panel.

Employee Responsibilities After an Accident and After Testing

The employee must make herself available for drug and alcohol testing, even after the authorities have dealt with the accident.

If the employee does not make herself available for testing, then that employee will face similar consequences to a FAA drug test failure and the employer and FAA will hold that employee in contempt of the FAA drug testing program.

That usually means the employee will be fired rather than held on trial.

Basically, the employee must have a very good, well-documented excuse for not providing an FAA drug testing panel.

How to Initiate DOT Post-Accident Drug Testing

We discuss the designated employer representative’s responsibility in getting the DOT post accident drug testing process started.

The pilot, supervisor, and DER are all involved in the process, but it is the DER’s responsibility to make sure that everything goes accordingly.

The DER has to make sure that the supervisor and employee know their responsibilities, which is difficult in the wake of an accident.

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