When and why are direct observations necessary for a urine drug screen?
There are many donors that assume their drug tests must be observed and some think its crazy to have a direct observation!
Here is the when and why…

1. Any time the specimen temperature is out of range. If the temperature strip on the specimen cup is too hot, too cold or does not register any temperature, the collections professional will perform a second test under direct observation. Temperature failure assumes that the specimen did not come from the donor’s body. A urine test completed under direct observation ensures the specimen has come from the donor’s body without any tampering via adulteration or substitution.

2. During every Follow Up and Return to Duty situation we observe the collection and follow the process as outlined in 49 CFR Part 40. Follow Up and Return to Duty tests are conducted when a donor has previously failed a drug test and is now working toward successfully completing a drug test (or series of tests) that will allow them to remain at work.

3. The DER (Designated Employer Representative) may request that a donor be tested under direct observation if they have reason to believe the donor may try to adulterate or substitute the specimen.

DOT drug testing is about safety. In order to ensure the integrity of the test represents the employee’s ability to perform their duties in a safe manner, direct observation situations can serve as a deterrent when temptation to submit false samples arises. At TSS specimen integrity is our priority and safety is our middle name!

By Jo McGuire, TSS Senior Projects Manager