What Happens If Aviation Workers Provide Insufficient Urine Samples?

Airplane shortly after takeoff flying at sunset

Providing urine samples for drug testing is required for aviation workers. These samples must include a sufficient amount of urine for testing, or so-called “shy bladder” procedures will be started by the collector. Here is a look at the process that goes into effect if an aviation worker does not provide a sufficient urine sample.

The collector will initiate a three-hour wait period.

According to Department of Transportation rules, employees have three hours to produce a urine sample if their initial sample does not contain 45 mL of urine—the amount that is typically required to perform a drug test. The collector will also suggest that the employee drink up to 40 ounces of fluid during the three-hour period in an attempt to generate enough urine for testing. Employees are not required to drink the fluid to be compliant with testing rules, but they must remain at the collection site for the three-hour wait period.

A second collection attempt will be made.

After the three-hour period, the employee must attempt to provide another urine sample. If the collection is successful, then testing will go forward as normal. If the second sample is still insufficient or if the employee refuses the test or leaves the collection center, the collector will immediately notify the DER—the Designated Employer Representative.

The employee will be advised to undergo medical testing.

The DER will tell the employee that he or she must have a medical exam within five days and produce proof of a medical condition that makes providing a urine sample impossible. If the physician makes this determination, an insufficient urine sample will not be considered a refusal to take a test. If the physician does not determine a medical cause, the insufficient sample will be considered a refusal to take a drug test. This can result in immediate removal from safety-sensitive duties. Workers can also be terminated or have their FAA certification or rating authorization revoked.

Oschmann Employee Screening Services is a national provider of drug & alcohol testing and employee background check services with offices in Tucson, AZ and Phoenix, AZ. To find out how we can help you meet your requirements for employee drug screenings, please call (800) 224-8532.

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