Drug Testing Policy for
Documented Employees and Students
In accordance with procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug Testing programs established by the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and administered under U.S. Coast Guard Regulations, 46 CFR Parts 4, 5, and 16; Texas A&M University at Galveston shall test for the following drugs: marijuana, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine (PCP) and amphetamines. All tests shall be performed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) certified laboratories which meet the requirements of 49 CFR 40.
1. University Policy - Employees Holding a Merchant Marine Document and Cadets Who Test Positive
A TAMUG employee or cadet who, under any testing procedure required by this Policy, tests positive or refuses to submit to a test shall be removed from duties which directly affect the safety of the vessel's navigation or operations as soon as practicable, and will be subject to job termination and/or suspension from the Corps of Cadets, as applicable and will be reported to the Coast Guard as required under 46 CFR 16.201. An employee or cadet who tests positive during a cruise period, shall be terminated or suspended from the Corps, as applicable, and the employee or cadet shall be responsible for his/her cost to return home.
A person terminated from employment or suspended from the Corps may reapply for employment or readmission to the Corps in accordance with this Policy. Readmission to the Corps will be on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the person's prior performance and potential.
2. Pre-Employment Testing
Commencing 21 December 1989 all persons applying for employment with TAMUG who are required to hold a Merchant Marine license or document and license-option cadets prior to their first training cruise shall be required to pass a chemical test for dangerous drugs.
a. Exempted from this requirement are individuals who possess satisfactory proof that they have passed a pre-employment test for another employer or a periodic chemical test within the previous six months. Also exempted are persons who have been subject to a random drug testing program meeting the requirements of 46 CFR part 16.230 during the period of the previous twelve months. These persons must present proof that they have not failed or refused to participate in such testing.
b. In the event that an employee applicant's drug screen is positive and that person is holding a valid Merchant Marine license or document, the test results will be reported in writing to the nearest Coast Guard Officer in Charge Marine Inspection, (OCMI). Also, in the event of a positive screen of an applicant or refusal to take a test, there will be no consideration of employment.
c. The employee applicant who was denied employment because of a positive drug screen may reapply for employment after six months. At that time, the applicant must submit a current drug free certificate from a recognized Medical Review Officer (MRO). Employment will be considered based on the individual meeting the job requirements for the position. In addition, the individual shall agree to be subject to increased, unannounced testing for a period as determined by the MRO of up to 60 months.
3. Random Testing
All students and employees working for the University who, by law and assigned responsibilities, are required to hold a Merchant Marine document shall be subject to random drug testing in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Coast Guard.
a. Each employee and cadet shall have an equal chance of selection for testing through their period of employment or enrollment as a student. The selection shall be made by drawing up to twenty-five percent of the employee and cadet names at a time. All personnel whose names have been drawn shall be placed back into the pool so that their names could be drawn again.
b. Crew members and cadets will be tested on an annual rate of not less than fifty percent.
c. The test results of any crew member or cadet testing positive will be reported in writing to the nearest Coast Guard OCMI.
4. Periodic Testing
Any employee, working for the University, who is an applicant for an original issuance or a renewal of a license or certificate of registry (COR), a raise in grade of a license, a higher grade of COR, an original issuance of a merchant mariner's document (MMD), the first endorsement as an able seaman, lifeboatman, qualified member of the engine department, or tankerman, or a reissuance of an MMD with a new expiration date shall be required to pass a chemical test for dangerous drugs.
a. The applicant shall provide the results of the test to the Coast Guard Regional Examination Center (REC) at the time of submitting an application.
b. The test results must be completed and dated not more than 185 days prior to submission of the application.
c. An applicant need not submit evidence of passing a drug test as required above if he or she provides satisfactory evidence that:
(1) he or she has passed a chemical test for dangerous drugs within the previous six months with no subsequent positive chemical test during the remainder of the 6 month period; or
(2) during the previous 185 days been subject to a random testing program required by 46 CFR 16.230 for at least 60 days and did not fail or refuse to participate in a chemical test for dangerous drugs.
5. Serious Marine Incident Testing
The University will test an individual whose action or failure to act is determined to be a causative factor in the events leading to a serious marine incident in accordance with 46 CFR 4.06.
a. A serious marine incident is defined as:
Any marine casualty or accident that occurs upon the navigable waters of the United States, its territories or possessions or any casualty or accident wherever such casualty or accident occurs involving any United States' vessel, including accidental grounding, or any occurrence involving a vessel which results in damage by or to the vessel, its apparel, gear, or cargo, or injury or loss of life of any person; and includes among other things, collisions, stranding, groundings, founderings, heavy weather damage, fires, explosions, failure of gear and equipment and any other damage which might affect or impair the seaworthiness of the vessel which must be reported to the Coast Guard under 46 CFR 4.05-1 and which results in any one of the following:
(1) One or more deaths;
(2) An injury to a crew member, passenger, or other person which requires professional medical treatment beyond first aid, or which renders the individual unfit to perform routine vessel duties;
(3) Damage to property in excess of $100,000.00;
(4) Actual or constructive total loss of any vessel subject to inspection;
(5) Actual or constructive total loss of any self propelled vessel not subject to inspection under 46 U.S.C. 3301 of 100 gross tons or more;
(6) Discharge of oil of 10,000 gallons or more, whether or not resulting from a marine casualty; or
(7) Discharge of a reportable quantity of hazardous substance, whether or not resulting from a marine casualty.
b. Any crew member or cadet on the training vessel who is determined to be directly involved in a serious marine incident shall provide, within 24 hours of the incident, urine specimens, and blood or breath specimens, or both for chemical tests as required by 46 CFR 4.06-10 when directed to do so by the University or a law enforcement officer.
c. If an individual refuses to provide blood, breath or urine specimens, this refusal shall be noted on Form CG-2692B and in the vessel's official log book.
d. No University crew member or cadet may be forcibly compelled to provide specimens for chemical tests required by 46 CFR 4; however, refusal is considered a violation of regulation and could subject the individual to suspension and revocation proceedings under 46 CFR 5 and removal from any duties which directly affect the safety of the vessel's navigation or operations.
e. Whenever a crew member or cadet has been identified as being directly involved in a serious marine incident, CG-2692B form shall be completed and submitted to the nearest OCMI. The test results shall be submitted to the same OCMI for each person who was on the original form CG-2692B.
f. In incidents involving discharges of oil or hazardous substances, a report will be filed with the Coast Guard OCMI having jurisdiction over the location where the discharges occurred or nearest the port of first arrival following the discharge. Any TAMUG crew member or cadet who has been identified as being directly involved shall be tested as per requirements of 46 CFR 4.06 and results reported to the same OCMI.
6. Reasonable Cause Testing
The University shall require any crew member or cadet who is reasonably suspected of using a dangerous drug to be chemically tested for dangerous drugs.
a. The University's decision to test shall be based on a reasonable and articulable belief that the individual has used a dangerous drug based on direct observation of specific, contemporaneous physical, behavioral, or performance indicators of probable use. Where practicable, this belief should be based on the observation of the individual by two persons in supervising positions.
b. When the University requires testing of an individual under the provisions of this section, the individual shall be informed of that fact and directed to provide a urine specimen as soon as practicable. This fact shall be entered in the vessel's official log book.
c. If a crew member or cadet refuses to provide a urine specimen when directed to do so by the University under the provisions of this section, this fact shall be entered into the vessel's official log book.
d. The test results of any crew member or cadet testing positive will be reported in writing to the nearest Coast Guard OMCI.
7. Test Collection and Handling Procedures
Urine specimens shall be collected by trained personnel using collection and shipping kits meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 49 and CFR 40 and 46 CFR 16.330 (b). The University shall ensure that the collection site is adequate to provide for collection security, temporary storage, and expeditious shipping of specimens to a DHHS-certified laboratory.
a. Security procedures shall provide a secure collection site.
b. No unauthorized personnel shall be permitted in any part of the collection site when specimens are collected nor shall unauthorized personnel be allowed access to stored specimens. Safeguards to ensure integrity of specimens shall be maintained at all times.
c. TAMUG shall establish and maintain a chain of custody for each specimen to be chemically tested. If a specimen is not immediately prepared for shipment, it shall be safeguarded during temporary storage. TAMUG shall make every effort to minimize the number of persons handling specimens.
d. The Training ship shall have in possession at all time specimen collection and shipping kits (that meet 49 CFR 40) to be used to collect specimens and ship them to a certified drug testing laboratory.
e. TAMUG shall ensure that the specimen and chain of custody documents are promptly shipped by an expeditious means to a certified testing laboratory.
8. Medical Review Officer (MRO)
TAMUG shall designate a MRO meeting the qualifications of 49 CFR 40.27 and 49 CFR 40.33 (b).
a. All laboratory reports will be sent to the designated MRO. Whenever a report contains a confirmed positive result, the MRO shall review and interpret the report and submit the findings to TAMUG.
b. In accordance with 46 CFR 16.201 (e) and 46 CFR 16.370 (d), before a crew member who has had a positive report may return to work, the MRO shall determine that the crew member is drug free and the risk of subsequent use is sufficiently low to justify return to work.
c. Before a cadet who has had a positive report may report onboard in a working/training capacity, the MRO shall determine that the cadet is drug free and the risk of subsequent use is sufficiently low to justify return onboard in a working/training capacity.
d. Any crew member or cadet who has failed a chemical test shall agree to be subject to increased, unannounced testing for a period as determined by the MRO up to sixty months or until no longer employed or discharged from the cadet training program.
9. Record keeping
The Superintendent's Office will maintain all results of drug screens on students. Employees' results will be filed in the Human Resources Office. All drug screens are considered confidential. Only persons who have a legitimate need to know the test results shall be informed.
a. Negative Tests shall be maintained by TAMUG for a period of one year.
b. Positive Tests shall be maintained by TAMUG for five years and shall be made available to the Coast Guard upon request.
c. TAMUG records shall contain the total number of crew members and cadets tested annually in each category of the testing program, including the annual number of individuals testing positive and the number and types of drugs for which individuals tested positive.
10. Release of Information
Except as provided for in 46 CFR 16 and 46 CFR 4.06-60, TAMUG shall not release individual test results or other personal information from anti-drug program records.
a. Individual results from a drug test required by 45 CFR 16 may be released if the individual tested signs a specific authorization for the release of the results to an identified person.
b. Nothing in this section shall prevent an individual tested under this policy from obtaining the results of that test.
11. Employee/Cadet Assistance Program
TAMUG shall provide an Employee/Cadet Assistance program (ECAP). TAMUG's ECAP shall include education and training on drug use for crew members, cadets and ship supervisory personnel. The program will include the following elements:
a. ECAP Training Program
(1) Effects and consequences of drug and alcohol use on personal health, safety and work environment.
(2) The manifestations and behavioral clues that may indicate drug and/or alcohol use and abuse.
(3) Documentation of training given to supervisory personnel, crew members and cadets. Supervisory personnel shall receive at least sixty minutes of training. All documentation of training records for students shall be available from the Commandant and for employees in the Galveston Human Resources Office.
b. ECAP Education Program
(1) Display and distribution of informational material.
(2) Display and distribution of a community service hot-line telephone number for crew member assistance.
(3) Display and distribution of the University's policy regarding drug and alcohol use in the workplace.