Workplace: Drug Training/Testing for Mining

initial alcohol/substance abuse training

According to the Mine Safety Task Force (MSTF)*, all newly-hired inexperienced miners should have Alcohol and Substance Abuse Education and Training as an integral part of initial miner certification training. Premier provides this approved training plan which covers all current experienced miners who should be trained within a reasonable time period with the same Alcohol and Substance Abuse Education and Training as new miners.

recommended testing protocol

Members of MSTF recommended in their 2005 report the following drug testing protocols for mining operations, which include alcohol and illicit drugs. Illicit drugs include prescription drugs used illegally or in excess of therapeutic levels as well as illegal/recreational drugs. An 11-panel urine test is the minimum testing protocol recommended. 11-panel test includes
  • Amphetamines
  • Cannabinoids/THC
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Propoxyphene
  • Methaqualone
  • Methadone
  • Barbiturates
  • Synthetic Narcotics, and
  • Alcohol (as defined by a blood alcohol test or a breathalyzer test)

Refusal by an individual to submit to an alcohol or drug test or whose test results show the presence of masking agents should result in the same consequences as a positive test result. It is recommended that testing occur on the following occasions:

Post-Employment Testing
Testing done after offer of employment. If an employee does not commence work within one month of the drug and alcohol screen, the company should have the right to retest the employee prior to commencing work.

Random Testing
Testing of employees selected by using a statistically valid, unannounced random method.

Reasonable Suspicion Testing
The employer believes the actions, appearance or conduct of the employee indicate the use of alcohol or an illicit substance. The conclusion that reasonable suspicion exists must be based on specific contemporaneous articulated facts concerning the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors. Observations may include actions or behavior that is indicative of usage or withdrawal from an illicit substance or alcohol. Click here to learn about resasonable suspicion training.

Post-Accident Testing
The employer believes the actions, appearance or conduct of the employee indicate the use of alcohol or an illicit substance. The conclusion that reasonable suspicion exists must be based on specific contemporaneous articulated facts concerning the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors. Observations may include actions or behavior that is indicative of usage or withdrawal from an illicit substance or alcohol. Click here to learn about resasonable suspicion training. Conducted following an accident that occurs on mine property. This includes accidents while operating equipment, conducting business, or performing any work related activities provided the accident results in injuries that require medical attention away from the scene or death. Testing should be conducted as soon as possible, but in no case longer than eight (8) hours following the accident. In addition to the victim, testing should include those individuals that were directly involved or whose actions may have contributed to the accident.

Follow-up Testing
The employer believes the actions, appearance or conduct of the employee indicate the use of alcohol or an illicit substance. The conclusion that reasonable suspicion exists must be based on specific contemporaneous articulated facts concerning the employee's appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors. Observations may include actions or behavior that is indicative of usage or withdrawal from an illicit substance or alcohol. An unannounced random test of an employee for a specified period of time after completion of a substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Recommended Quality Control Measures
An effective drug and alcohol testing program must have established quality control protocols to ensure the integrity of the results. Premier's collectors will perform the essential steps in the sample collection protocol. The collection site may be a permanent or mobile facility located either at the work site or at a remote site. The donor's identity will be verified as per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) requirements prior to sample collection.

Premier's laboratory, certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will perform the drug testing. Positive drug test results will be reviewed and interpreted by Premier's Medical Review Officer (MRO).

A Medical Review Officer is a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders, laboratory testing and collection procedures. The MRO has the ability to verify positive, confirmed test results and possess the necessary medical training to interpret and evaluate a positive test result in relation to the person's medical history or any other relevant biomedical information.

Being in the National Drug Free Workplace does not mean you qualify for the KY Drug Free Workplace Program:
The KY Drug-Free Workplace Program (KYDFWP) requires alcohol/substance abuse testing and several other components including:
  • Urine Drug Testing must be lab based testing ONLY at a SAMHSA federally regulated lab (there isn’t one in KY) with an 11 panel drug test, and a licensed Medical Review Officer (MRO) is required.
  • 11 panel drug test includes the following drug categories: Amphetamines, cannabinoids/THC (marijuana), cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP), benzodiazepines, propoxyphene, methaqualone, methadone, barbiturates, and synthetic narcotics are the minimum categories
  • An appropriate Policy and Procedure Manual must be developed.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse education and awareness training for employees and supervisors.
  • Referrals to an employee assistance program (EAP)
  • The KYDFWP shall include breath alcohol testing and urine testing at the following times:
    A. For urine drug testing:
    1.Pre-employment-afterconditional offer of employment
    2.Random-unannounced statistically valid
    3.Reasonable Suspicion Testing
    4.Followup Testing-after receiving a positive test result; after an employee’s successful completion of an employee assistance program (EAP), the employee will be tested once per quarter for one year. This is in addition to random testing.
    5.Post-accident- when the accident occurs on the premises of the employer, or in the course of employment which requires off site medical attention to a person.

    B. For Breath Alcohol testing
    1. Pre-employment
    2.Random- NOT REQUIRED
    3.Reasonable Suspicion Testing- of prohibited alcohol use
    4.Follow-up testing- after a positive/violation of the alcohol prohibition. Otherwise, the same as for drug positives/violations
    5.Post-accident-same as for drug

* Members of the MSTF include representatives of state mine safety agencies from Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, health and safety professionals representing both large and small coal companies, Labor, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy and the insurance industry.