Are you an employer who needs to stay compliant with drug and alcohol testing regulations? If so, it’s important to understand the differences between FAA and non-FAA compliance standards. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has its own set of rules for conducting drug and alcohol tests that you must be aware of if your business operates in the aviation industry. This blog post will discuss the main differences between FAA and non-FAA compliance standards when it comes to drug and alcohol testing.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and non-FAA compliance standards have different rules when it comes to regulatory authority. Every business owner wants to know how to manage a drug-free workplace without any hiccups which is why it’s essential for them to get educated. The FAA sets regulations for drug and alcohol testing that all airlines must follow, while non-FAA compliance standards can vary based on the company or organization’s guidelines.
For example, the FAA requires aviation employers to test employees who are involved in safety-sensitive positions such as pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, and flight attendants. Non-FAA organizations may have different requirements regarding who should be tested for drugs and alcohol. Additionally, the FAA requires any positive results from a drug or alcohol test to be reported within a certain time frame while non-FAA organizations may not have this requirement.
Scope Of Coverage
The scope of coverage for these tests differs in the types of tests they require. The FAA has stricter standards, so it requires more types of tests. For example, the organization requires pre-employment drug testing, random drug testing, reasonable suspicion drug testing, post-accident/incident drug and alcohol testing, and return to duty/follow-up alcohol and/or substance abuse program (SAP) required tests. Non-FAA regulations only require pre-employment or random drug screenings.
Both sets of regulations cover any employees who are safety-sensitive or pilots who need a medical certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration to work as a pilot or mechanics in aviation-related jobs. These individuals must follow the rules set forth by their respective regulating agencies for staying compliant with these standards.
The FAA requires more frequent testing than the non-FAA standards, meaning that those who must comply with FAA regulations must be tested more often for drugs and alcohol. Here are some steps that it includes:
- pre-employment testing
- random testing
- reasonable suspicion/cause testing
- post-accident testing
- return-to-duty testing
- follow-up testing
- refusal to test
This is because the FAA has determined that more frequent testing will help create a safer working environment for all employees. On the other hand, non-FAA standards typically require pre-employment and reasonable suspicion/cause testing only. While this provides much less of a safety net than FAA regulations, it still helps employers ensure that they are maintaining a drug and alcohol-free workplace.
Ultimately, both of these are in place to ensure that employers are providing a safe working environment for their employees. They just each have different testing requirements to help achieve this goal. It is important to understand which standards apply in order to comply with the laws and regulations in your specific industry.
Thresholds And Panel Of Substances
The FAA has a higher threshold for positive test results, meaning that it requires higher levels of drugs or alcohol in order to be considered a positive result. Additionally, the panel of substances tested by the FAA is more extensive than that tested by non-FAA organizations. This means that the FAA tests for more drugs and alcohol than other organizations do.
These differences make sure that air travel remains safe for passengers and crew members alike. For example, the FAA has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol in the cockpit. Any trace of these substances detected by the test result will be considered a positive result and will lead to further investigation. This helps ensure that all pilots are operating at their best while in command of an aircraft.
Reporting And Recordkeeping
The FAA requires employers to report any employee who fails a drug or alcohol test, while non-FAA employers may not require reporting. Recordkeeping is another difference between the two standards. FAA requires employers to keep records for all tests for up to five years, while non-FAA employers may only need to keep records for two years or less.
This is especially important if an employee will be subject to random testing since it allows employers to track who has been tested and when. Depending on the industry, non-FAA employers may also need to keep test results for a longer period of time.
The requirements for reporting and recordkeeping vary based on the type of test that was conducted. For example, FAA employers are required to report all positive tests while non-FAA employers may only need to report certain substances. In addition, FAA employers must keep records of all drug and alcohol tests for up to five years while non-FAA employers may have different timelines based on the industry standards.
Consequences Of Non-compliance
The FAA legally requires employers to have a Drug and Alcohol Testing Program (DATP) in place, with specific rules about testing and reporting positive results. If they do not comply, they can issue fines or suspend their certificate. Non-FAA employers must follow state laws regarding drug and alcohol testing, which vary from state to state. Penalties may include fines or criminal proceedings if the employer does not abide by those laws.
The consequences of non-compliance with FAA regulations can be severe, as they can lead to the suspension or revocation of an employer’s certificate. Non-FAA employers should also take note: failure to abide by state laws regarding drug and alcohol testing can result in legal action.
Training And Education
The FAA requires that all employees who may be tested for drugs or alcohol must receive special training about the program. This includes information on the types of tests used, what substances are being tested, how to handle results, and other important details. Non-FAA compliance standards do not require such specific training but do require employers to provide general awareness regarding drug and alcohol use in the workplace.
Employees must also be educated on the effects of using drugs or drinking alcohol while at work. This includes learning about how it can affect their job performance as well as any safety risks associated with working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
It is important to understand the differences between FAA and non-FAA compliance standards for drug and alcohol testing. The FAA requires more frequent tests, higher thresholds for positive results, a longer recordkeeping timeline, special training requirements, and reporting of all positive test results. Non-FAA employers must follow state laws regarding drug and alcohol testing, which have different penalties if not abided by. Ultimately, both sets of regulations are in place to ensure that employees remain safe while on the job.