Understanding the Omnibus Employee Testing Act of 1991

Workplace safety is of utmost importance, and this is even more true when the place your employees work is on the road. If your company employs drivers, you should take every precaution to make sure they keep themselves and other motorists safe every time they work. Thanks to the Omnibus Employee Testing Act of 1991, employees in transportation industries must undergo drug and alcohol testing performed by a certified facility. Keep reading to learn more about the Omnibus Employee Testing Act and how it affects your business.


The Omnibus Employee Testing Act of 1991 was put into place because of a subway train that derailed in New York City. Not only was the train operator intoxicated with alcohol at the time of the crash, but it was found that his blood alcohol percentage was still at 0.21 hours after the crash occurred. The legislation originally included only testing employees for alcohol, but eventually expanded to include a larger list of other drugs that must be tested for.

Who Gets Tested

The U.S. Department of Transportation put the Omnibus Employee Testing Act into effect, which requires employees in “aviation, trucking, railroads, mass transit, and pipeline industries” to be tested. In other words, essentially anyone who operates some kind of vehicle in a commercial capacity is covered under the Act. Testing happens before a person is hired, if they are suspected of being under the influence during the course of employment, after an accident, or at random times determined by the employer.

How Testing Works

If you are running a company that has employees that fall under the Omnibus Employee Testing Act of 1991, you will probably need to outsource the testing to an independent agency. Drug testing works through urinalysis, and breath or saliva tests are used to test for alcohol. Various industries have different rates set for how often tests must take place, which is another reason it’s wise to have an experienced outside agency working with you.

Make sure your Tucson company stays compliant with all Department of Transportation regulations with the help of Oschmann Employee Screening Services. Contact us at (520) 745-1029 to learn more about the products and services we provide to help your business stay on track.

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