- Published: Apr, 13 2020
- Updated: Apr, 13 2020
Every business is invested in having a safe working environment. This typically consists of the usual safeguards, such as ensuring clear floors in the workplace and adhering to building and electrical codes for the safety of workers within. The professional transportation industry, however, has an entire city, state, or even country as its “workplace” with some of the heaviest machinery on Earth, like planes, trucks, and trains as equipment.
This type of work demands even more safety, and to make sure that staff, drivers, pilots, engineers, and other associated personnel maintain their responsibility, testing is required. The testing is for substance abuse, and for people looking for a career that makes a difference, drug testing certification classes are one promising path.
The DOT Mandate
All professional transportation businesses in the USA ultimately answer to one Federal organization, the Department of Transportation, or DOT. The DOT has clear rules that apply to every professional transport business, with a general focus on safe, standardized, efficient operation.
However, the DOT divides its responsibilities among different agencies that specialize in specific sectors of the transport industry. Truck drivers hauling freight, for example, answer to the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, under the DOT. Career aircraft pilots, on the other hand, answer to the Federal Aviation Administration. The same is true for public transportation, rail transportation, and others, each with their own agency that oversees their activity.
Part of that mandate is the safe operation of vehicles, which is where drug testing certification classes enter the equation. Trucks and trains, for example, are massive vehicles built to be tough and to carry vast amounts of freight. That means that in any accident with these vehicles, smaller vehicles like cars lose the battle of physics. Because of how potentially dangerous these vehicles are, professional drivers must take their duties seriously. They must drive responsibly and soberly so that they have the judgment, reflexes, and reaction times required to save lives. Drug testing is a way to enforce this.
Compulsory At Times
While most vehicle operators in the USA take their duties seriously, not everyone follows the honor system. Some professional drivers consume alcohol or drugs and go to work under the influence, putting everyone at risk. To screen out these types of operators, the DOT has instituted mandatory drug testing by qualified technicians. People who take drug testing certification classes and are qualified for this role go out to businesses to collect biological samples for analysis.
These tests are administered at critical points. Depending on the situation, drug testing may be required at the hiring phase for potential applicants to a new position. At other times, drug testing may be randomly determined, or periodically scheduled. Whatever the occasion is, the graduate of drug testing certification classes that goes on to conduct the test.
Why Classes Matter
Drug testing certification classes are a necessity for people interested in a career as a drug testing technician. This is a very demanding, technical job that requires a lot of knowledge, practical experience, and an ability to improvise on the job.
Drug testing has two major requirements. The first is that a viable sample must be taken for accurate drug testing to occur. The viability of a sample hinges entirely on the collection technique of the tester, and the ability to follow the protocols set out by the different DOT agencies for their specific requirements. This means that someone may need to take drug testing certification classes for urine sample collection, or hair samples or even breath samples to test for alcohol consumption.
These different techniques and protocols require intensive training, as well as final certification. Without that certification, the businesses tested don’t have the confidence of knowing that the collection process was compliant with DOT standards. The labs, similarly, may not be sure the samples given are viable enough to get good results from.
Take On An Important Role
By taking drug testing certification classes and entering the workforce, graduates fulfill an important, always in demand service. Successful drug testing means everyone knows they are doing their job correctly. More importantly, however, drug test technicians can help make transportation companies safer by screening out deceptive employees.
While most employees will comply with testing and pass their tests with negative usage results, not everyone plays by the rules. Some are unwilling to face the consequences of their negligent acts and try to cheat tests. These unethical employees are the ones that drug testing technicians must be on guard for. This isn’t just a matter of observing the correct protocol to ensure a clean sample collection. This is also about having the training to create an environment where it is difficult—or impossible—to cheat without the deception being discovered.
For people that want to ensure the professional transportation industry operates at the top of its game, efficiently and safely, a drug testing career is one way to do this.
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