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December 18, 2013
Reporting drug test data to PHMSA

By March 14, 2014, operators of gas, hazardous liquid, and CO2 pipelines and operators of liquefied natural gas facilities must electronically submit the results of annual alcohol and drug testing for both their employees and certain contracted employees to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).  The PHMSA recently announced a modification in the way reporters will obtain the user name and password needed to file the required information online.

Under 49 CFR 199.105(c)(2), (3), and (4), operators must annually conduct random drug testing for a specific percentage of covered employees,  including employees of the operator and employees of contractors engaged in safety-related functions as defined in 49 CFR 199.3.  The reporting obligation applies to operators with 50 or more covered employees; operators with fewer than 50 covered employees are required to report only upon written request from the PHMSA.

Positive rate

The actual minimum percentage of drug tests that must be reported depends on the previous reported drug test positive rate.  If the positive rate previously reported is less than 1 percent, the PHMSA may continue the minimum annual random drug testing rate of 25 percent.  Should the positive rate exceed 1 percent, the PHMSA must require drug testing for 50 percent of covered employees until the reported rate falls below 1 percent for 2 consecutive years.  Reports on random testing, which are required by March 14, 2014, must cover 25 percent of covered employees at a minimum.

DAMIS

Operators report information through PHMSA’s Drug and Alcohol Management Information System (DAMIS).  To access DAMIS, a reporter must have a PHMSA-provided user name and password.  In previous years, the PHMSA attempted to mail the DAMIS user name and password to operator staff with responsibility for submitting DAMIS reports.  Based on the number of phone calls to PHMSA each year requesting this information, the mailing process has not been effective, the PHMSA states.

Therefore, the PHMSA is now requiring that obligated operators obtain their user names and passwords electronically.  Specifically, operator staff who have registered at the PHMSA Portal will be able to obtain the DAMIS user names and passwords in late December 2013, according to the PHMSA.  The PHMSA says all registered Portal users will receive an e-mail when the DAMIS user names and passwords are available. 

“Operator staff with responsibility for submitting DAMIS reports should coordinate with registered Portal users to obtain the DAMIS user name and password,” says the PHMSA.  Registered Portal users for an operator typically include the U.S. Department of Transportation Compliance Officer and staff or a consultant with responsibility for submitting annual and incident reports on PHMSA F 7000- and 7100-series forms.

Contractors report through operators

The PHMSA notes that contractors with employees in safety-sensitive positions who performed covered functions must submit these reports only through the auspices of each operator for whom these covered employees performed those covered functions.

PHMSA’s notice on reporting drug and alcohol test information was published in the November 27, 2013, FR.

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