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September 30, 2010  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Proactive Employers Keep Operations Substance-Free

Pupil transportation officials have a zero-tolerance attitude toward on-the-job drug and alcohol use, and staff members undergo testing frequently. Experts say that understanding the effects of these substances and learning how to recognize signs of abuse are integral to maintaining a safe workplace.

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Use in-service and safety meetings to discuss the topic
Training is the final component for a safe, substance-free workplace. DCS, MCAS and Beach Transportation all devote time to discussing the issue during in-service and safety meetings.

At MCAS, new and current employees view a video on substance abuse that covers the DOT regulations on drugs and alcohol, the effects of drugs and alcohol, and the consequences of positive test results.

Moreover, Neafie has had the head of school nursing discuss with the drivers the effects of certain drugs.

New employees at Beach Transportation receive a drug and alcohol training and awareness booklet during orientation, which the trainers review with them, and Stahl says that every few years the local police force narcotics team talks with the drivers about the risks of drug use.

During a convention in July, Stahl attended a class on over-the-counter drug abuse.

“I hope to incorporate this topic into our drug program using information I learned and bring in a pharmacist or some other professional trained in the side effects of drug use,” she says.

Drug recognition training resources
In addition to local substance abuse experts and law enforcement officials, there are companies that specialize in providing training on the effects of drugs and alcohol, and how to spot signs of use and abuse, that could benefit pupil transportation supervisors and their employees.

One such company is CDAS — as previously mentioned, it offers the “Recognizing the Drug Impaired” program. Topics covered include an overview of the drug problem in today’s society and how to address this issue through policies, tools to assess impairment and how to associate drug influence by examining a person’s eyes and pupils.

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