Free Workshop - Tennessee Drug Free Workplace

March 22, 2011 by admin  
Filed under TNT

Tennessee Drug Free Workplace workshop at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin TN.  Lance Wheaton the director of Tennessee Drug Free workplace will explain the benefits of becoming a member of the program. Register at or call 615-206-7667 for more information.

Tennessee Drug Free Workplace Emergency Rule

October 21, 2010 by admin  
Filed under TNT

Effective October 4, 2010 Tennessee Drug Free Workplace will require testing of ecstacy and 6 am (marker of heroin) on it’s initial testing in addition to the current 5 panel test.  Cut off levels for amphetamines and cocaine will be decreased on the initial test. For further information go to

FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Strike Force Removes Unsafe Drivers/Carriers

August 18, 2010 by admin  
Filed under FMCSA

FMCSA  10-10
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Contact: Candice Tolliver
Tel: (202) 366.2309 or (202) 306.4580

FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Strike Force Removes Unsafe Commercial Drivers and Carriers from the Road

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that 109 commercial bus and truck drivers were removed from the roads and more than 175 carriers face enforcement actions as a result of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s annual drug and alcohol strike force sweep that occurred from June 21 through July 2.

“If you are a commercial driver or carrier operating in violation of federal drug and alcohol laws, we will remove you from our roadways,” said Secretary LaHood. “Parents deserve to know their children are being driven by bus drivers who are drug and alcohol free, and every motorist deserves to feel confident that the drivers of large trucks and buses are safe and sober.”

During the two week sweep, FMCSA strike force investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus and truck companies, including school bus drivers, interstate passenger carriers, hazardous material transporters and general freight long-haul trucking companies.  Their goals were to identify motor carriers in violation of federal drug and alcohol testing requirements and to remove from the road commercial truck and bus drivers who jump from carrier to carrier to evade federal drug and alcohol testing and reporting requirements.

“FMCSA is committed to ensuring that only safe commercial drivers and carriers are allowed to operate,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Our annual drug and alcohol strike force is just one of the ways we weed out those ‘bad actors’ and make our roads safer for everyone.”

The 109 commercial drivers identified in the sweep face the prospect of a monetary fine  and being barred from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to adhere to federal drug and alcohol regulations. Additionally, 175 commercial carriers face pending enforcement actions for violations, such as using a driver who has tested positive for illegal drugs and for not instituting a drug and alcohol testing program. Both drivers and carriers will have an opportunity to contest the alleged violations and the amount of the civil penalties.

DOT Changes Effective 10/1/2010 TDFW follows DOT rules

August 14, 2010 by admin  
Filed under FMCSA

Posted for display in today’s Federal Register for publication Monday August 16, 2010 is a Department of Transportation Final Rule:
Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs
The following is a summary of the Final Rule:
1) The Department is required by the Omnibus Transportation Employees Testing Act (Omnibus Act) to follow the HHS requirements for the testing procedures/protocols and drugs for which we test.
2) Primary laboratory requirements in this final rule include:
- Testing for MDMA (aka. Ecstasy);
- Lowering cutoff levels for cocaine and amphetamines;
- Conducting mandatory initial testing for heroin;
3) The Department brought several testing definitions in-line with those of HHS.
4) Each Medical Review Officer (MRO) will need to be re-qualified - including passing an examination given by an MRO training organization - every five years.  The Final Rule eliminated the requirement for each MRO to take 12 hours of continuing education every three years.
5) An MRO will not need to be trained by an HHS-approved MRO training organization as long as the MRO meets DOT’s qualification and requalification training requirements.
6) MRO recordkeeping requirements did not change from the five years for non-negatives and one year for negatives.
7) The Final Rule does not allow the use of HHS-Certified Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITFs) to conduct initial drug testing because the Omnibus Act requires laboratories to be able to perform both initial and confirmation testing but IITFs cannot conduct confirmation testing.
8) The Final Rule is effective October 1, 2010.

Sumner Regional Medical Center accepts Workers Compensation cases in ER

July 18, 2010 by admin  
Filed under TNT

Sumner Regional Medical Center (SRMC) accepts workers compensation/post accident cases in our Emergency Department. SRMC is partnering with Tennessee Narcotics Testing located in Gallatin to provide chain of custody, workers compensation, DOT and breath alcohol testing.

These services will be available 24 hours each day, seven days each week, 365 days each year including holidays. Please contact Tennessee Narcotics Testing for more information or to establish an account with them for these services.

The Emergency Department at SRMC is fully staffed to meet all of your emergency medicine and work-accident needs. It is our mission to meet the healthcare needs of the communities we serve.

Acetaldehyde - Reason for a hangover

July 9, 2010 by admin  
Filed under TNT

Too much acetaldehyde in the body is believed be a reason for a hangover.  Alcohol  goes through two steps to metabolize alcohol in the liver.  The first step is to oxidize ethanol into acetaldehyde and the second step is to turn the alcohol into acetic acid.

The acetic acid (vinegar) is easier for the body to process.  This explains why 50% of Asians cannot metabolize alcohol as they never go through the second step.  The ethanol never oxidizes into acetaldehyde and is 10-30 times more toxic than alcohol.  Asians will experience red flushing, sweating and nausea.  The same effect happens when an abuser takes Antabuse to help them stop drinking.

Parenting Style Can Prevent Binge Drinking

June 27, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Teens

The researchers surveyed nearly 5,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 about their drinking habits and their relationship with their parents. Specifically, they examined parents’ levels of accountability - knowing where they spend their time and with whom - and the warmth they share with their kids. Here’s what they found:

  • The teens least prone to heavy drinking had parents who scored high on both accountability and warmth.
  • So-called “indulgent” parents, those low on accountability and high on warmth, nearly tripled the risk of their teen participating in heavy drinking.
  • “Strict” parents - high on accountability and low on warmth - more than doubled their teen’s risk of heavy drinking

Full article:

Zero Tolerance Food for Thought

June 15, 2010 by admin  
Filed under TNT

March 17, 2010

Baseball scandal prompts thoughts on zero tolerance policies in the workplace

Baseball News is breaking today that the manager of the Texas Rangers, Ron Washington, tested positive for cocaine last season. Reports are that it was a one-time event, and Washington offered to resign, but Nolan Ryan, the Rangers president, declined to accept it. So Washington stays on as Rangers coach. As I tap this out at a bookstore, I am listening to sports talk radio, which is buzzing about the development. All this leads me to think about zero tolerance policies in the workplace in general. Under such edicts, one violation of a rule results in immediate termination. Lawyers often see zero tolerance language in drug and anti-harassment polices. So, should the Rangers fire Washington? I have written before on this topic. My answer is no. I have zero tolerance for zero tolerance policies. Lawyers should encourage employers to look at each situation in context: Did the employee express true remorse? Has he not just acknowledged responsibility but also set out how he will avoid a recurrence? Does he have an otherwise good work history? Employers should ask these questions before deciding to impose the workplace equivalent of capital punishment. Those who promulgate zero tolerance polices often get a shocker: The first person who violates it is a key, long-term or beloved employee. Shock No. 2, managers often do not want to (and will not) enforce a policy they perceive as too harsh. Look, American civil rights laws are based on the idea that everyone is valuable and should be treated as an individual. Our workplace policies should do no less.

Dangers of Ecstacy and Hot Days

June 14, 2010 by admin  
Filed under TNT

Ecstacy causes changes in signals sent by the brain.  The body is unable to regulate it’s own temperature or water content when taking ecstacy.  On hot days, or in hot crowded rooms  ecstacy users are at risk for overheating and dehydration. Ecstasy-related deaths were associated with core body temperatures ranging from 107 to 109 degrees Fahrenheit according to the DEA.

Controlling Workers Compensation Costs

June 10, 2010 by admin  
Filed under TNT

I had an interesting discussion on Linkedin  today and thought this information would be useful.

A good Drug Free Workplace program is a major step in controlling Workers Compensation costs.

Most states allow a discount such as the state of Tennessee which offers a 5% discount for having a drug free workplace. If someone does test positive - post accident, the claim can be denied. The burden of proof is also shifted to the employee. Check with your state laws.

The Cost: Substance Abuse:

* 38-50% of Workers’ Compensation claims are related to substance
* Substance abusers file 3-5 times more workers’ comp claims.
* Substance abusers have 300% higher medical costs/benefits.
* Substance abusers are 2.5 times more likely to be absent from work.
* 77% of adult drug users are employed.

Source: ‘Working Partners’, National Conference Proceedings Report: US Dept. of Labor, the Small Business Administration, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy.


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