DOT proposes use of electronic forms for drug and alcohol testing

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Department of Transportation is requesting public comment on a proposed rule that would allow the use of electronic forms and signatures for drug and alcohol testing.

According to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Aug. 5 Federal Register, DOT seeks to “provide additional flexibility and reduced costs for the industry while maintaining the integrity and confidentiality requirements of the drug and alcohol testing regulations.”

Currently, “employers and their service agents must use, sign and store paper documents exclusively, unless the employer is utilizing a laboratory’s electronic Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (electronic CCF) system that has been approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.”

In the ANPRM, DOT asks for responses to 14 specific questions, including:

  • What are the practical impacts of authorizing a fully or partially electronic system?
  • What are the economic impacts of authorizing a fully or partially electronic system?
  • How would confidentiality and system security be maintained to prevent against data breach and data loss?
  • How many levels of authentication should be used to ensure the reliability and security of the signatures of program participants?
  • Are there any lessons learned or shared best practices available related to paperless non-DOT regulated testing?
  • Are there any limitations in either a paperless or electronic environment that impact program efficiency?
  • What measures need to be established to ensure, when documents are transmitted to multiple parties, each party is able to properly access and use the electronic system?

Comments are due Oct. 4.

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