Building Trades Launch National Drug & Alcohol Program for CURT Projects
The Building Trades National Drug & Alcohol Program (BTNDP) began operating on July 1, establishing national, multi-craft testing standards and database intended to improve safety, eliminate duplicate testing, and decrease costs.
The program was developed by the Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) of the AFL-CIO in conjunction with the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT) and contractors involved in the CURT Tripartite Initiative, of which AGC is member. CURT has agreed to promote the program, encouraging CURT members to include it in their bid specifications.
According to the BTNDP Web site, the program “creates a nationwide pool of pre-tested workers, who are pre-qualified to work on job sites with substance abuse testing requirements.” The BTNDP will no longer require employees to be tested on each new job site or for each new employer, saving time and costs for employers and owners. The program recognizes an employee test performed within the prior12 months as a valid pre-employment test. “Standardized procedures and a shared eligibility pool enable a [worker’s] current test to serve as a valid pre-employment test for one or many contractors and keep workers who are not in the eligibility pool from working on projects with drug testing requirements,” according to the site.
The BTNDP includes policies for employee assistance and education, supervisory training, and recordkeeping. Testing will be conducted on an annual, random, pre-hire, and post-accident basis. Minimum standards – which apply to all employees of contractors and subcontractors in all field tiers – are set for illegal substances, controlled substances, and alcohol. An independent third party administrator coordinates program testing and enforces program requirements. The Web-based database is also maintained by an independent third party, and access is limited to designated “Medical Review Officers.” If a substance abuse problem exists, workers are encouraged to approach their supervisor before testing and take a voluntary unpaid leave of absence to attend a treatment program.
More information on the BTNDP, including a program handbook, is available at www.safesitesforhardhats.com.
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